The Garden City Telegram recently reported that Empirical, a South Dakota-based beef production company, plans to build a new facility in Garden City. That facility will bring 300 jobs to the area.
This is great news — especially when you recall that Garden City temporarily lost production at its Tyson plant. Beyond just the feel-good redemption, this addition brings the new plant not just for Garden City or Finney County. It is good news for Kansas. A win like this for Garden City will create spillover across the state.
Yes, spillover will be more tangible and obvious across southwestern Kansas as those businesses are most likely to benefit from the additional workforce Empirical will add. However, that doesn’t mean this success won’t find it’s way across the state. Let’s not forget the tax dollars this facility will generate and send to Topeka and vicariously across the state. Or that these workers aren’t robots. Most people at some point travel, they will spend money, they will form bonds and build communities.
These somewhat intangible things are small but mighty and help make Kansas what it is.
Clearly Empirical was thinking that way when they selected Garden City.
Nick Roth, president of Empirical Technology had this to say about our state in the company’s announcement: “The state of Kansas, and Garden City in particular, have always been great partners to the beef industry, and companies like ours that have been valued members of the community for years. As we look to take this next step in the growth of our ground beef business, we can’t imagine a better place, or better people, to be part of the next chapter in the empirical story.”
The state of Kansas, not just Garden City, is known for its agricultural exports, and it drew a company from South Dakota to build a facility here. Conceivably similar companies might feel the same way in the future. Perhaps that means other towns — like Hutchinson, Emporia and Olathe — where other large meat production facilities exist might see the benefits or maybe even another Kansas community with something to offer.
Hope springs eternal. So should we as Kansans.
The next time news like this is made we need to lean in and cheer our neighbors on. It’s time we do our best to put aside provincial rivalries and cheer each other on. It costs nothing to be positive and supportive.
So welcome to Kansas, Empirical. We’re excited to have you as a neighbor.