What does a Tyson plant mean for farmers?


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – According to Tyson, the company contracts with local farmers to raise their chickens. So KSN wanted to know if Kansas farmers are interested in working with the corporation.

We spoke with members of the Farm Bureau and Kansas Poultry Association to find out. They say there are farmers who are interested in what benefits the Tyson plant could bring.

They also say it’s expected that there will be some who have their concerns.

Raising crops is what farmer Max Tjaden has done for years. But working with a Tyson chicken plant would be a first for him, and many others.

“It would be an educational process for those who might be interested and I’m sure there are people who would be more than happy to do it,” said Max Tjaden, Sedgwick County Farm Bureau Agricultural Association President.

He says the plant would also provide an extra market for people who grow soybeans, corn, and milo for feed. There’s also of course, the opportunity to raise chickens.

“Tons of people, there are a lot of people angry that the last one didn’t go through, and unfortunately their voices aren’t being heard, but there are just people who look at it as opportunity,” said Scott Beyer, Extension State Specialist in Poultry Production.

Tjaden, who also works for the Sedgwick County Farm Bureau, says some residents may have environmental concerns, and those will need to be addressed where Tyson decides to go. He adds growers may have their own concerns about competing with the plant for water and land.

“Up in that Equus Beds you know the irrigators share the water source with the city of Wichita and so that’s kind of, there’s been some issues there over the past few years so, it might make the issues bigger I don’t know,” said Tjaden,

Tyson told KSN in a statement that “…since we’re still reviewing those communities as possibilities, we’re not sharing additional details about the project at this time.”

The company says it depends on more than 11,000 independent farmers, including 4,000 poultry farmers across the country. The company says it pays them more than $15 billion annually.

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