HUMBOLDT, TENN. – Tyson Foods, Inc. on April 8 opened its new 370,000-square-foot complex in Humboldt, Tenn. The $425 million project includes a processing plant, feed mill and hatchery.
“We’re pleased to add to the growth in Gibson County with the opening of our new 370,000-square-foot processing facility,” said Dean Banks, president and chief executive officer of Tyson. “We appreciate the support of all those who played a role in making this facility possible – the local community, county, state and our Humboldt team members, who safely and responsibly produce high-quality protein daily to help feed our nation and the world.”
Tyson announced the project in late 2017 after proposing a similar sized facility near Tonganoxie, Kan., earlier in 2017. The project was met with resistance from local residents and ultimately rejected by officials in Leavenworth County and the city of Tonganoxie.
This is the second major economic development project Tyson Foods has initiated in Tennessee in recent years and the largest to date. In August 2017, the company announced an $84 million expansion of its Union City operations, which has added more than 200 jobs.
“Tyson Foods started as a small family poultry business more than 85 years ago, and today we are a recognized leader in protein,” said John R. Tyson, chief sustainability officer and member of the Tyson family. “We are incredibly proud to make western Tennessee the home of our first new poultry facility in 25 years and look forward to being part of the community and supporting the local economy.”
Production is expected to begin at the facility later this month – several hundred workers have been hired and are currently being trained. The processing plant, which will produce pre-packaged tray packs of fresh chicken for retail, is expected to employ 1,500 by 2023.
“The demand for Tyson chicken products continues to grow and this plant will help us meet the needs of our customers and consumers,” said Donnie King, chief operating officer and group president of Poultry for Tyson Foods. “We’re excited to start this new chapter with the people of western Tennessee who have been extremely supportive of the project since day one.”
The new feed mill, which will supply feed for approximately 56 local poultry farmers, will employ 30 and produce 14,000 tons of finished feed a week at full capacity. The hatchery employs 30 and provides chicks for local poultry farmers who supply broiler chickens to Tyson.
“With five facilities across Tennessee, Tyson Foods has an enormous impact on our state’s agriculture industry and rural communities,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. “Job creation is crucial to our continued economic success, and I thank Tyson for its investment and commitment to Humboldt and West Tennessee.”
Including Union City, Tyson operates five facilities in Tennessee, employing about 5,000 with an annual payroll of more than $226 million. Tyson estimates its total statewide annual impact for fiscal 2020, including payroll, grain purchases, utilities, property taxes and charitable contributions to be more than $428 million. The payroll and payments to farmers from the new operation is expected to generate an annual economic benefit of $150 million to the state of Tennessee.
“Tyson Foods has been doing business in Tennessee for nearly 50 years and we’re committed to making a positive impact on Humboldt and the entire region,” said Tom McCue, Humboldt complex manager. “We appreciate the support of the local community as we’ve worked toward this day and I’m excited to build a tradition of excellence with our team members.”