Tyson unveils plans for $320 million poultry complex

by Joel Crews
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Tyson NAE chicken
The new plant’s production will help supply Tyson's No Antibiotics Ever line.
 

TONGANOXIE, KAS. — Tyson Foods, Inc. has announced plans to build a new $320 million poultry complex with the capacity to process 1.25 million chickens per week near Tonganoxie.

Tyson is working to finalize the purchase of approximately 300 acres near the southeastern city in Kansas, where it will break ground this fall. The facility will include a hatchery, feed mill, processing plant and the infrastructure to support it. Tyson expects to employ approximately 1,600 and will contract with producers in northeastern Kansas to supply the facility with birds.

Doug Ramsey, Tyson Foods
Doug Ramsey, group president of poultry for Tyson Foods

“We believe eastern Kansas is the right location because of the availability of grain and labor, as well as access to our nationwide customer base that is accessible through the state’s top-notch transportation network,” said Doug Ramsey, group president of poultry for Tyson Foods.

Production is scheduled to begin in mid-2019 at the plant, which will supply retail customers throughout the country with tray-packed, fresh chicken. After announcing its No Antibiotics Ever (N.A.E.) branded retail chicken products earlier this year, Tyson became the largest producer of N.A.E. chicken in the world. As demand for this product continues to grow, the Tonganoxie plant’s production will help supply the line, Tyson said.

Tom Hayes, Tyson Foods
Tom Hayes, president and c.e.o. of Tyson Foods

“More people want fresh food, and as one of the world’s leading protein companies, we’re well-positioned to provide it,” said Tom Hayes, president and chief executive officer of Tyson Foods. "We believe this new operation, which will incorporate the latest production technology, will enable us to meet the sustained growth in consumer demand for fresh chicken."

The new complex will represent the seventh Kansas community where Tyson maintains operations. It estimates its total financial impact in fiscal 2016 was more than $2.4 billion, which included grain purchases, utilities, property taxes and charitable contributions. 
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