WICHITA — Tyson Foods Inc. says its plans for a chicken plant in Kansas remain on hold while it moves forward with its Tennessee project.
The Springdale, Arkansas-based company announced Monday it would build a $300 million chicken production complex in Humboldt, Tennessee, that is expected to create more than 1,500 jobs when it begins operations in 2019.
Tyson spokesman Worth Sparkman said Monday the company still has an interest in Kansas and will continue to consider potential sites in the state for expansion of its poultry business.
Tyson had previously announced a $320 million chicken plant outside Tonganoxie in northeastern Kansas in September, but local officials withdrew their support amid public opposition. Tyson then started looking elsewhere.
Several other Kansas communities stepped up to the plate - including Reno County where city and county officials signed a letter of support to pursue Tyson. A few weeks later, three communities made the short list - Sedgwick County, Cloud County and in Coffeyville.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture issued the following statement after the Tennessee announcement.
"Congratulations to Tyson Foods on your new expansion plans and to the state of Tennessee for the agricultural growth you’re welcoming in your state. Consumer demand drives growth in the food and agriculture industry, and we have been aware throughout our own discussions with Tyson Foods that their expansion plans included multiple facilities in more than one state, so this announcement was not unexpected. We look forward to continuing to work with Tyson Foods as they further evaluate expansion of their poultry business unit growth opportunities in Kansas."
Kansas Agland contributed to this report.