Tyson Foods has announced that it will put its plans to build a poultry processing plant in Tonganoxie, Kan. on hold after the Leavenworth County Commissioners rescinded their support of the project. Commissioners took back a "resolution of intent" that pledged $500 million in revenue bonds to build the plant, reports Fox 4 News in Kansas City.

In an open letter to the community, Tyson posted the following message, written by Doug Ramsey, group president, poultry:

“Over 5,700 Tyson Foods “team members” are proud to live and work in Kansas. We care about each other, our communities and our company. We successfully operate six facilities in the state, provide thousands of good paying jobs and generate an annual economic impact of about $2.4 billion in Kansas. This goes back decades and in some cases we’ve been growing with our Kansas communities for over 50 years.

Given our success here it made a lot of sense to consider new growth plans in Kansas. We were invited by state and local leaders to build a new $320 million poultry complex in your community. They encouraged us to come to Leavenworth County. In a show of support, the county commissioners unanimously approved a resolution to use industrial revenue bonds for the project. We saw this shared investment, and the $150 million in annual economic impact it would have, as a win for the company and the people of Leavenworth County.

Given the scope of our project, we knew there would be questions and recognized that you would have an important voice in the decision-making process. That’s why we met with some of you after our initial announcement, planned more meetings and offered community leaders a chance to see our facilities first hand. Unfortunately, we’ve not been able to reach as many of you as quickly as we had hoped. As a result, most of you haven’t gotten to know us very well. For example, you may not know the following:

  • We are a diverse team that shares core values that call us to operate with integrity and respect.
  • Delivering sustainable food at scale is at the heart of our strategy, we share a comprehensive sustainability report every year and have recently made significant commitments to healthier workplaces, healthier animals and a healthier environment.
  • We operate under a Team Member Bill of Rights and provide competitive wages as well as benefits that include health insurance, retirement savings and stock purchase programs, tuition reimbursement, paid vacation and holidays.
  • Tyson Foods was recognized in 2017 by Fortune magazine as No. 1 on the World’s Most Admired Companies list in the Food Production segment.

We’d still like to get to know each other, however, after Monday’s reversal of support by the Leavenworth County commissioners, we will put our plans in your community on hold. We still have interest in Leavenworth County, but will prioritize the other locations in Kansas and other states that have expressed support.

This is a good project that we are deeply passionate about. It’s important to the future of our company and our ability to serve our customers. We also believe it will be a significant boost – and not just economically – for the right community.”

Source: Fox News (Kansas City), Tyson Foods