Tyson Foods announces $300 million complex in western Tennessee

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 577 views 

Tyson Foods announced Monday (Nov. 20) plans to build a $300 million chicken production complex near Humboldt, Tenn. The facility is expected to create more than 1,500 jobs.

Operations in the western Tennessee town are expected to begin in late 2019, and will help the company meet strong consumer demand for its chicken.

Monday’s announcement came two months after Tyson Foods shelved its plans to build a similar facility in Leavenworth County, Kan. Not long after the initial Sept. 5 announcement by Tyson Foods and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, opposition began to grow within the city of Tonganoxie, which is where the proposed plant was to be built.

“This is an historic day for Humboldt, Gibson County and West Tennessee,” Humboldt Mayor Marvin Sikes said in a statement. “I want to thank Tyson Foods for their commitment to our community and region. The significant job creation and capital investment that will result from this project will have a positive impact on our community that will last for many years, and I could not be more excited about the future of Humboldt and Gibson County.”

Tyson Foods said it chose western Tennessee over potential sites in other states; however there are other sites still under consideration for future poultry production expansion.

This is the second major economic development project Tyson Foods has initiated in Tennessee this year. In August, the company announced an $84 million expansion of its Union City operations, which is expected to create about 300 jobs, which is in addition to the more than 1,000 jobs currently at the facility.

“I want to thank Tyson Foods for choosing Humboldt as the location for its new operations and for creating more than 1,500 new jobs in Gibson County,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said in a statement. “The new facility will be Tyson’s fifth location in Tennessee and it means a great deal that a company of this magnitude will continue to grow its footprint in our state. I appreciate Tyson for its continued commitment to Tennessee and for helping us become one step closer to our goal of making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

The Humboldt plant will produce pre-packaged trays of fresh chicken for retail grocery stores nationwide. It is expected to process 1.25 million birds per week, increasing Tyson Foods’ overall production capacity by the same amount. Tyson Foods officials say the payroll and payments to farmers from the new operation, along with its purchase of grain and utilities, is expected to generate an annual economic benefit to the state of Tennessee of $150 million.

A chicken complex is comprised of a processing plant, hatchery, a feed mill and related operations. Tyson Foods will build the facilities in and around Humboldt. The plant will be located within the Gibson County Industrial Park, just north of Humboldt and the company will contract with area farmers to raise chickens. Outside contractors will help build the project; Tyson Foods expects it will involve hundreds of workers.