Archive for Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Tyson Foods to build $320M chicken operation near Tonganoxie; plans to employ 1,600

Doug Ramsey, group president of poultry for Tyson Foods, Inc., answers media questions as the company announces plans to build a $320 million poultry processing plant near Tonganoxie. The project is still subject to regulatory and financing approval.

Doug Ramsey, group president of poultry for Tyson Foods, Inc., answers media questions as the company announces plans to build a $320 million poultry processing plant near Tonganoxie. The project is still subject to regulatory and financing approval.

September 5, 2017, 12:44 p.m. Updated September 5, 2017, 4:32 p.m.

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Tyson Foods, Inc., on Tuesday announced plans to build a $320 million poultry processing plant near Tonganoxie — on a site about 10 miles from Lawrence — sparking controversy in this small town of about 5,300 people.

Company officials said they hope to bring the plant into production in mid-2019, employing up to 1,600 people and processing as many as 1.25 million birds per week.

The announcement in downtown Tonganoxie drew an overflow crowd to the Brunswick Ballroom where Gov. Sam Brownback and other state officials cheered the project. “I think it’ll be a great thing for Tyson,” Brownback said at the announcement. “I think it’ll be a great thing for our state and broaden that portfolio of what we do to provide to a hungry world our quality protein sources.”

But the announcement also drew protestors who stood outside the building, arguing that such a plant would attract low-wage jobs and reduce the quality of life in their community.

“I think it’s not the right kind of jobs,” said Tana Walker, a McPherson native who moved to Tonganoxie with her husband in April. “I am from a factory town. I’m all for good, high-paying unionized factory jobs, but Tyson has a history of amoral, horrible conditions in their plants. The type of jobs they bring are not the types that save communities. They kill communities.”

Doug Ramsey, group president for poultry at Tyson, said jobs at the plant would offer starting wages of between $13 and $15 an hour.

Tyson, based in Springdale, Ark., is one of the largest food companies in the world. The company said the Tonganoxie plant will produce pre-packaged trays of fresh chicken for retail grocery stores nationwide.

Earlier this year, Tyson announced it was shifting to what it calls “No Antibiotics Ever” or NAE production in its branded retail chicken products, making it the world’s largest producer of NAE. The Tonganoxie plant will be part of the continued expansion of the company’s NAE offerings, the company said.

Ramsey said the site in northeast Kansas offers some strategic advantages.

“Tonganoxie is a great location for a poultry complex, with the availability of corn, the ability of the Interstate highways to go north and south, east and west, and the ability to supply our consumers, plus the availability of labor in this area is very high,” Ramsey said.

Tyson plans to purchase an approximately 300-acre site just south of the city. The southern edge of the site is about one mile north of the Tonganoxie/Eudora interchange on the Kansas Turnpike.

That site would house a state-of-the-art processing plant as well as a hatchery and feed mill. It also plans to contract with northeast Kansas farmers and ranchers who will raise the Tyson chickens in their own facilities.

That’s a business model that has become increasingly common in the livestock industry in recent years, especially in pork and poultry production. But it’s one that many people have criticized because it tends to shift much of the financial risk and legal liability of livestock production onto the backs of individual ranchers.

Brownback, however, defended that business model as being standard in the livestock industry today.

“I grew up raising chickens. We had a thousand chickens on our farm. They were layers, and I gathered the eggs every morning,” Brownback said. “That industry, that structure, no longer exists. You can’t find people that will buy that quantity of eggs. We’ve got farmers market outlets that are very good, and we’ve got a well formed, well developed farmers market structure, but the poultry industry is a vertically integrated industry, and if you’re going to do major poultry production, I don’t know how else it can be done.”

Stephanie Ventura said she and her husband moved to Tonganoxie about three years ago from Emporia, where Tyson operates a large beef processing plant. She said she does not look forward to having Tyson move into Tonganoxie.

“We wanted to get away from the Tyson in Emporia,” she said. “It stinks up the whole town. It’s just not a wonderful way of life.”

Ramsey, however, said Tyson is sensitive to the concerns of the community.

“Everyone has their opinion and we need to hear their opinion and understand their concerns so we can address them, and that’s why we plan to have town hall meetings over the next couple of months, to listen and address their concerns,” he said.

Tonganoxie’s mayor expressed support for the project as part of the announcement.

“Tonganoxie is looking forward to a successful partnership with Tyson Foods,” Tonganoxie Mayor Jason Ward said in a press release. “We have planned for a development of this type for many years by making strategic investments in public infrastructure targeted to support future industrial growth. This project will bring much anticipated opportunities for local residents to enjoy the quality of life benefit of working close to home. Tyson has a long history of support for small towns and local markets. They will be a great fit for our community.”

Officials said the project is still subject to approval of Tyson’s development plan and negotiation of a final incentive package.

Last week, Leavenworth County commissioners gave tentative approval to a resolution authorizing the issuance of $500 million in industrial revenue bonds that would be used to finance the project. The county would not be liable for repaying those IRB’s, but the instruments would enable the county to issue property tax abatements as an economic development incentive.

David Van Parys, interim county counselor for Leavenworth County, said the county is still negotiating how much of an abatement it will offer.

The county plans to hold public hearings before taking a final vote on issuing those IRBs.

Top employers

If Tyson Foods does end up employing 1,600 people as projected, it immediately will be in the running to be the largest private employer in either Leavenworth or Douglas counties. Here’s a look at how the chicken processing plant would compare to several other large employers — both public and private — in the two-county area.

• University of Kansas, Lawrence: 9,800

• Fort Leavenworth: 4,185

• Lawrence Public Schools: 1,800

• General Dynamics, Lawrence: 1,500

• City of Lawrence: 1,455

• Lawrence Memorial Hospital: 1,320

• Leavenworth Public Schools: 995

• Lansing Correctional Facility: 913

• Berry Plastics: 740

• VA Eastern KS Health System, Leavenworth: 700

• Northrop Grumnan, Leavenworth: 700

• Tonganoxie Public Schools: 260

• Peruvian Connection, Tonganoxie: 100

All job totals approximate

Sources: Economic Development Corporation of Lawrence and Douglas County; Leavenworth County Development Corporation.

Comments

Joe Blackford II 2 months, 2 weeks ago

"contract with northeast Kansas farmers and ranchers to raise chickens."

The legislature heard "chicken ranch" & got all excited?

"The Chicken Ranch is a legal, licensed brothel located about 60 miles west of Las Vegas near the town of Pahrump, in Nye County, at 10511 Homestead Road. The 17-bed brothel sits on 40 acres of land." Wikipedia

Sam Crow 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Once again, the Douglas County anti business climate keeps it from being asked to the big dance.

But at least, unemployment in Lawrence should drop to zero with that number of jobs being there.

An enterprising individual would begin a shuttle service to the plant from Lawrence.

Alex Landazuri 2 months, 2 weeks ago

why would the unemployment rate in lawrence drop to 0 due to this? im pretty sure there will be people from leavenworth, tongie, baseor, etc. working at the plant. oh wait...youre in that alternate reality were facts and logic dont exist..

Sam Crow 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Because they can't get 1600 people from those towns you mention.

Those towns don't constantly cry about not having good jobs available, as Lawrence liberals do.

Leavenworth and Basehor is easily accessible to the high growth western part of the KC metro. That includes the thousands of new hires at Amazon in KCK.

Alex Landazuri 2 months, 2 weeks ago

did you read my comment? i didnt say that one of those cities would be providing 100% of the workforce for the plant. i said that residents of those cities could very well be working there, as opposed to 100% of the labor force coming from lawrence. is it possible that lawrence will have the highest representation at the plant? sure. but it wont provide 100%. reading comprehension, practice it.

Sam Crow 2 months, 2 weeks ago

And I didn't write 100% of the labor force would be from Lawrence.

Amazon in KCK is still actively advertising for help.

Alex Landazuri 2 months, 2 weeks ago

but you actually did: "But at least, unemployment in Lawrence should drop to zero with that number of jobs being there."

David Holroyd 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Sam Crow,,,the folks do not understand even if you drew a picture..they really do not!

Alex Landazuri 2 months, 2 weeks ago

it would help if he made a statement based in real world logic rather than is la la land logic.

Greg Cooper 2 months, 1 week ago

David, this is not a picture forum, thus, words, not pictures, are the medium we work with. And, in this case, Sam said exactly what he said he did not and was called out by Alex.

Alternative facts? Look to your own "side" if you're truly interested.

Ray Mizumura 2 months, 1 week ago

Lawrence liberals do not constantly cry about not having good jobs available. People like you spend too much time crying about Lawrence liberals, however. So, you can't have 100% right-wing conformity across the state. Life's tough, ain't it?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Just proves that Sam doesn't live around here. Tongie is in Leavenworth County. And at least in Douglas County citizens would have a say on what is going to go in their county. This was sprung on Tongie citizens. We could put it in your back yard, Sam. Then you could walk to work.

Sam Crow 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Dottie, this story clearly states which County this facility will be in.

The other story here spells out the incentive package that was voted on by the Leavenworth County Commissioners. In public. It went through an approval process.

According to the other story, the Leavenworth newspaper was reporting on it.

This was not a secret, contrary to what you may think.

Though it won't be in my backyard, I will pass it weekly on my way to the airport.

Nice try though.

David Holroyd 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Dorothy should care less...but she want's it in Douglas County so she can protest just like she did in DC...for what good did it do?

And now at least Richard Heckler has something to complain about NOT EVEN in Lawrence...Richard you might check to see if they need some grass mowed at the facilty...the contract could be quite lucrative and some free legs to nibble on.

Clara Westphal 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Smells have no boundaries. Have you ever been to Emporia? The smell makes a person nauseous.

Sam Crow 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Were you ever in Lawrence when the Co-op was around. And it was within the city limits.

The Kansas City stockyards existed in the west bottoms until just 25 years ago. Armour also had a processing plant in the area.

Tyson will be over 4 miles from Tonganoxie and 10 from Lawrence.

Sean Metzinger 2 months, 2 weeks ago

This is near Tongie, no where near Lawrence. Tongie residents are really pissed about it. Plus Tongie and Lawrence have a lot lower unemployment than the national average at 3 %-- if anything I would see Eudora residents driving north to find a job. At the same time DeSoto residents should be worried about the down stream run-off since NineMile Creek is right next to the proposed site. An believe me that will be the nastiest run off ever and will cause the tiger mussels to over take in the nitrogen rich water and intern the nitrogen will start killing off the native fish. No more fishing in the Kansas river. Also WHY THE HELL are we giving them tax cuts!!!!??? : " David Van Parys, interim county counselor for Leavenworth County, said the county is still negotiating how much of an abatement it will offer."

Steve Jacob 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Sounds great, hope they did not give too much to get them.

David Holroyd 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Steve Jacob,,,whatever they gave them won't be any worse that HERE...or Krisnch...(?) talk about FREE. both of them.

Richard Heckler 2 months, 2 weeks ago

A toxic operation that which contributes to conservative radicals. More than likely Tongie was chosen because it is a small town that might not revolt against a polluting enterprise.

Residents best do some homework......

In this June 20, 2017 photo, 9-day-old chickens eat a mix of corn and soybeans and drink water inside a chicken house north of Plumerville, Ark. The house, and three others like it nearby, hold 30,000 birds each. When the chickens are 33 days old, they will be taken to a processing plant for slaughter and packaging.

http://wjhl.com/2017/06/22/tyson-adopting-video-welfare-checks-in-poultry-operations/

Bob Smith 2 months, 2 weeks ago

At least you found a link from this century....

Richard Heckler 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Conservative agenda items and platforms are about 37 years old which makes most any link current. That's right ALEC began taking over the GOP in the late 70's.

Richard Heckler 2 months, 2 weeks ago

How many dollars in corporate welfare did the governor put forward? Where did the money come from?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months, 2 weeks ago

"This is a step in the right direction to further diversify and grow our state’s economy.”

This is still agriculture, so how does this diversify? It's one of the major part of the state's economy already. Diversity would be building a plant making solar panels or wind turbines. And won't Tyson bring in "expert" visiting workers from other countries to work there, like Trump's vineyard does? If they got a cushy tax break, is there a guarantee that they will hire local workers?

My sister lives in Arkansas where they have done this. Be ready for some nasty smells. I love the smell of most farms, especially dairies, but thousands of chickens in long buildings are pretty nasty. Although I've heard the compost is pretty good.

Bob Smith 2 months, 2 weeks ago

More birds, fewer cows. That's diversity for you. BTW, I worked in a chicken plant a long time ago. The skills required at the Tyson plant won't be on a par with the skills required for vineyard workers.

Clara Westphal 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Tyson is also known for hiring illegal aliens to work for slave wages. Just wait until the Somalians show up.

David Holroyd 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I have been saying all along that companies will not locate in Lawrence! Leavenworth county is where the growth will be.. It is easier to get to the turnpike with the new exit and to K-7. AND there is no labor force in Douglas County.

What do you care Dorothy,,,are you going to apply?

Leavenworth county reaps the property tax...that's what matters!

Sam Crow hit the nail on the head with workers !

LMAO....and this new guy at the Chamber,,,what could he do..except get a 2nd retirement check...

And do not be surprised if there isn't backdoor talks about the rerouting of 40 highway also...straight into Tonganoxie from Topeka and misssing Lawrence.

Lawrence is short of heavy hitters...in development, housing, commercial and most everything else...Lawrence is just plain heavy on spending...with little to gain.

Brian Seveland 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Right... an 80% tax abatement for 10 years, along with $500 million in bonds issued by LVCO. SUCH a windfall. And what do we get in LVCO? 1,600 low wage, low quality jobs, a new "neighbor", Tyson, with one of the worst environmental records in the U.S., and of course, the pollution of our air and waterways. Did I mention decreased property values for those of us fortunate to live within 3 miles of the proposed facility?

Why not put it in Douglas County, maybe next to one of the hard won call centers with all their "quality" jobs?

Sam Crow 2 months, 2 weeks ago

" live within 3 miles of the proposed facility"

NIMBY

Brian Seveland 2 months, 1 week ago

Yeah, my county, my watershed... so, it concerns me. You... not so much. NIYBY, simpleton.

Sam Crow 2 months, 2 weeks ago

It is funny that a hillbilly that moved to Tonganoxie (pop 5,200) from McPherson says of Tyson, “The type of jobs they bring are not the types that save communities. They kill communities.”

Maybe she should take a drive down to Fayetteville, Arkansas, the home of Tyson. It is also the home of University of Arkansas, which is a similar size to KU. In addition to Tyson, it is home to Wal-Mart, and JB Hunt Transportation, among others.

The Fayetteville metropolitan area has a population of 465,000 and is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country.

Doesn’t sound like a dying community to me.

Cait McKnelly 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I lived in NW Arkansas and there are chicken plants all over down there
And, although Tyson makes up a good portion of them, there are others such as OK Foods. Here's a clue to what they are like. The vast bulk of their employees are immigrants; some of them legal, but a lot of them not. Take a look at the Tyson plant in Garden City. You'll find the same thing.
Good luck, Tongie. You're going to need it.

David Holroyd 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Lawrence has a market for those chickens..Popeyes, Slim Pickens, Cains, and all the restaurants serving chicken fingers and the nursing homes serving chicken fingers and chicken tenders and NUGGETS ..where , oh where do the NUGGETS come from.....

Lesson learned and forgotten...American Eagle was run off by the likes of Schumm ,,remember that article in PITCH? And Ottawa got the employer.

The companies don't even look at Lawrence anymore....

Clara Westphal 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Except for Chic-filet, you don't want to know where chicken nuggets come from.

Greg Cooper 2 months, 1 week ago

So, in your infinite wisdom, David, are you saying that you favored the Tyson plant being in Lawrence or Douglas County?

Richard Heckler 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Low wage jobs cost too much money.

How much will each one of these dangerous jobs cost the taxpayers not only in direct corporate welfare from the Brownback admin but from tax dollar supported medical coverage and such?

The face of Tonganoxie is going to change a great deal.

Migrant workers will take over the town while conservatives are waging war on so called illegal workers. The conservative war on migrant workers is nothing but rhetoric aka bogus.

Tonganoxie residents would be money ahead to fight this. Low wage jobs cost too much money.

Scott Burkhart 2 months, 2 weeks ago

What do you have against work, Heckler? A steady job is a good thing to have. Oh, wait, I forgot. You want the government (translated: taxpayer) to pay everyone to sit around on their backside while you shout power to the people. You really don't have the first clue, do you?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Hey, I'll bet they would give you a job, Scott. Especially if you would work for minimum wage. Better get your resume together.

Richard Heckler 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Apparently Tonganoxie is protesting this matter....

Richard Aronoff 2 months, 2 weeks ago

If a conservative discovered a cure for cancer, Heckler would say, "I'll take the chemo."

Cille King 2 months, 2 weeks ago

"There is no shortage of information available on working conditions at poultry processing plants. The National Center for Farmworker Health reports that poultry plant workers are in “3-D” jobs that are dirty, dangerous and demanding. Workers are under intense pressure to process more than 100 chickens per hour and face a rate of injury that is 1.5 times higher than the average for all U.S. workers, according to a 2011 Bureau of Labor Statistics report. Evidence of carpal tunnel syndrome was found in 42 percent of poultry plant workers in a 2012 study."

Alex Landazuri 2 months, 2 weeks ago

carpal tunnel is caused by repetitive movement and is an issue with all factory/assembly line type jobs. this isnt news. it sucks and is painful, but not news.

Joe Blackford II 2 months, 2 weeks ago

NEWS, as in when Newman Rehab in Emporia became a division of Mathis Rehab Centers (which then closed the Mathis clinic that formerly treated all those beef plant employees)?

Sam Crow 2 months, 2 weeks ago

“I think it’s not the right kind of jobs”

“Migrant workers will take over the town”

“The vast bulk of their employees are immigrants; some of them legal, but a lot of them not”

“Often, immigrants from countries around the world are brought in to work”

We all know what the real opposition to Tyson is about.

The Lawrence population is 5% Hispanic. Tonganoxie is 3%.

Compare that to the mean, intolerant conservatives in JOCO. Olathe 10%. Lenexa and Shawnee 7%.

The real, unspoken opposition is Tonganoxie is 95% white, and Lawrence 82%.

And people don’t want that to change.

Clara Westphal 2 months, 2 weeks ago

They don't want to lose the identity of their town.

Alex Landazuri 2 months, 2 weeks ago

what identity? small town, good ol boy politics? they may loose the small town, but not the good ol boy system....

Sean Metzinger 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Why not put it in Topeka? There are tons of cheap real estate and a bigger work force seeking jobs. Topeka has a higher unemployment: 3.8 % While Lawrence, Tongie, and linwood only have 3% -- Leavenworth has a lot higher and cheap land too 4.7 % unemployment

Alex Landazuri 2 months, 2 weeks ago

topeka isnt that far. people will travel.

Bob Forer 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Crow you apparently are a little confused. Walmart is headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Sam Crow 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Fayetteville/Springdale/Rogers/Bentonville is a seamless metro area commonly referred to as Fayetteville.

Similarly, though Cerner is commonly referred to being Kansas City based, in reality it isnt.

And Clinton Lake is outside Lawrence city limits.

Greg Cooper 2 months, 1 week ago

Maybe that's why it's not named (get ready) Lawrence Lake? DUH.

Mary Ann Nelson Ellerd 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I wouldn't want to see a Tyson processing plant here in Douglas. It will be too close at it's presently planned site. All that chicken waste has to be disposed of and thats scary. I'm all for jobs, but Tyson will be a horror.

On another horrific note, Sam Crow is a typical, brain-dead, conservative idiot

Sam Crow 2 months, 2 weeks ago

You are getting your wish.

This plant will not be in Douglas.

You must be a racist not wanting more hispanics in the area, as some infer.

Bob Smith 2 months, 2 weeks ago

You know that disappointed progressives have lost an argument when they go to name-calling.

Steve King 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Nothing racist about protesting an environmental disaster.

David Holroyd 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Clara Westphal claims that she knows where the nuggets come from for Chick Fil A...but does she know where the "chicken fingers" come from.... Now I am thinking that there will be job opportunites for everyone except those in Lawrence who do not work...and there's plenty of those "peoples".

But I am going to see if I can apply for job in the Nugget Department as Quality Control Inspector and the Nuggets that do not pass < I will see if I can donate to the food bank..after all there are hundreds of starving folks in Lawrence....A Nugget a Day Keeps the Doctor Away...

But really I am going to get the "feathers" to make Pillows..No more My Pillow but rather

Me, Mine, and Yours Pillow...and donate 10% of the proceeds to Habitat for Humanity so Stuart Boley won't depend on the parking revenue from HERE...but then again...all the proceeeds for the roof at the Mausoleum....'cause the city commission can't come through on that promise..

So eat them nuggets Mayor Soden and city manager Markus and Commissioners...' cause there is a shortage of feathers...

btw,,,there will be a need for Feather Pluckers...too...how 'bout if Mr.Heckler...?

Clara Westphal 2 months, 2 weeks ago

There was a program out of Canada that showed chicken nuggets being made at a plant making nuggets for McDonald's. They were grinding up everything they could get their hands on and still call it food. Chicken nuggets should not have to be ground. It should be pieces of chicken cut into small chunks.

Good luck with the feather pillows.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Don't you live in Lawrence, David? Where do you work?

Amy Long Collins 2 months, 2 weeks ago

This isn't about an opportunity for positive growth in this Kansas area. They found cheep land; therefore they will build a place employing people who will buy homes and live in areas where most people years down the road will not want to live. Most people are always looking to raise their children in safe areas with low crime. The unintended consequences of this type of growth will be an increase in crime and a decrease in property values. All you need to do is visit any large poultry or other type of food plant and check out crime statistics/education in the area. Then, ask yourself if you would live there. Too bad this is so close to Lawrence.

Sam Crow 2 months, 2 weeks ago

That is the best play on words I have seen in a long time.

Greg Cooper 2 months, 1 week ago

That was funny, wasn't it, Sam? Unfortunately, I don't think it was intentional. But funny.

Will White 2 months, 2 weeks ago

At Tyson Foods, Inc., employees collect several types of retirement and welfare benefits. Numerous employees in the United States, like Tyson Foods, Inc. employees, enroll in group health benefits provided by their employer, through which a considerable portion of each employee's health insurance premium is paid for by their employer. These contributions are tax deductible for businesses and tax-free for workers. Tyson Foods, Inc. provides health, dental, and vision coverage. Tyson Foods, Inc. also offers long-term disability insurance, short-term disability insurance for accidents or sickness, death benefits, which cover certain causes of death, and group life insurance. Employer-provided pension plans help to secure a reliable income flow later in life. Tyson Foods, Inc. offers defined contribution pension plans. With a defined contribution retirement plan, employers help workers save and invest for retirement.

Amy Long Collins 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Obviously you are paid by Tyson. I encourage locals to visit places like Dodge City Kansas and others who have bought into the "employment opportunities" jargon. Has anyone thought of the needed infrastructure to allow for housing, schools, and health care for such a large number of people? They will not be paid $13-$15 per hr, only the "managers." Others get minimum wage. Many Tyson plants have been busted for hiring illegals. This is not for the "locals." You will see a mass influx of immigrants starting out by building the plant, then working there. These immigrant families do not believe in birth control; therefore there will be 4-6 children per family. So, 1600 new employees with how many children? Schools will be at best overcrowded and working out of temporary mobile homes with bilingual teachers attempting to manage overcrowded classrooms. Police will be wondering what happened and unable to manage crime. Police, fire fighters, and health care workers cannot communicate with these people; therefore all positions become bilingual positions. What does that mean? We enable the Spanish language and do not hire those who are not bilingual. This has happened all over the country. You and your children's future are at risk. Health care facilities will have to hire translators and waiting rooms will be overcrowded with immigrants. Locals will get frustrated and angry with the changes. The sad part about this is I am from Lawrence and moved to Phoenix where at first I felt like it was a romantic spicy Latino community and craved Mexican food all the time. The harsh reality is that I've been here for 15 years and cannot wait to get out. I once thought people who said anything about immigrants in a negative way were "Racists." I've learned that it is not about race. It's about safety, security, and assimilation. A growing trend in the Hispanic community is to resist assimilation. That means YOU will have to assimilate to their society. The reps are driven in a bmw to the new opening ceremony of the plant to cut the ribbon, then leave to spend their fortune in the high rent districts of Springdale, Arkansas. Once again, rich white people of a 33 billion dollar per year corporation enslaving immigrants and paying minimum wage. According to OXFAM (oxford community for famine relief), employees struggle to cope with denial of basic human needs. Employees urinate and defecate while standing on the line; wear diapers to work; they restrict intake of fluids to dangerous degrees; endure pain and discomfort while they worry about health and job security. Look this up. Do you really want this in your community???? Please educate yourself and take trips across the country to do so!! No, I am not left or right, just experienced. Please walk in the shoes of others before writing opinions and thank your government for allowing an open border for disease, crime, the ability for terrorists to cross, and lack of time for assimilation.

Clara Westphal 2 months, 1 week ago

Amy, thank you for your comment. You are absolutely right, esp. about the schools. There will be overcrowding and it will be mostly children speaking a foreign language. Our children's education will be in jeopardy.

Greg Cooper 2 months, 1 week ago

And, in the end, Amy, it is, from your comment, about race and stereotyping, then, isn't it? That none of these "problems" exist in any other societal racial or ethnic segment? Isn't that what it really boils down to in your deepest, most truthful opinion?

Carol Bowen 2 months, 1 week ago

Amy, You've lived in Phoenix so you must know that the white population is decreasing proportionately. It is very obvious in the southwest. Your description reminds me of stories about my family coming to the U.S. My grandparents were poor, spoke very little English, had lots of children, and lived in a very dense neighborhood. Education was very important. It took two more generations before anyone earned a college degree.

it's disconcerting to read your concerns, but I thank you for sharing. I hope your fears are unwarranted.

David Holroyd 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Dorothy why should work....at almost 73 there is no reason to have a job . Most likely have 15 years left and you will too. So I choose to travel..not to protests in DC but rather to the vast empire of properties everyone seems to believe I have..

Let's see...I will go to N Ireland and spend some time at a cute country house and then on London to a castle still owned by relatives..but once they find out I am thinking on making chicken nuggets rather inspecting them...they might not trust me with the range free chickens they have..

I would rather take stained glass classes but I want to make large projects so I will have to forgo Lawrence instructors and take a class in France...where big windows were the thing. Then I can repair the windows at the Mausoleum...if the Roof would get fixed...

I just wonder if the Commission has ever been inside the Mausoleum..each and every one of them....

But I digress..Dorothy NO I DO NOT WORK...why would you ask? Who would hire a 72 yr old? But maybe Tysons will.

TYSONS

David Holroyd Chicken Nugget Quality Control

Our slogan...".Our nuggets are better than your commissioners"

And for you Clara, I will pass that idea on about cutting them into chunks...but what to do about the pieces not used...tell me.

Clara , have you eaten chicken nuggets at all? Just asking!

Dorothy are you employable? I hear Tyson's needs a blogger to promote their products...you would be real good at it..if you didn't bring politics into it....

Clara Westphal 2 months, 1 week ago

Yes, I have eaten chicken nuggets in the chicken restaurants in Lawrence. Chick-fillet is the best.

David Holroyd 2 months, 2 weeks ago

yeah,,,,and farmers used to place junk cars in the fields to stop erosion but you ate the crops Laura.

and dogs poop all over downtown , but the whiners diners sit in front of fake cafes and eat nachos and pita bread sandwhiches and pretend they are on vacation...who cares?

You want to talk about stewards ....talk about the City Commission of the taxpayers assets...

like the Mausoleum and the parking lots and the streets ( Lawrence wasnt even smart enough to put a bus cutout when they have 23rd st torn up.....

Stewards....the city commisioners are NOT!

Worry about Lawrence,,,,not Tysons' . They are not coming to Lawrence!

Paul Youk 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I'll admit that I am somewhat uninformed about the possible environmental and local impacts of such a large plant going into a community of that size, and I have some reading to do.

That said--to those on the left who are against this--1600 long-term jobs is a major employer added to the area. That's nothing to sneeze at, and you're going to need a better argument to me than it produces wastes, smells and inconveniences to deal with. If that is all there is to worry about--welcome to the world of industrial production--the 1600 jobs are a benefit that outweighs those costs, imo.

To those on the right worried about immigrant workers, I'll never convince you of the folly or grossness of your position--I just hope folks like you have no sway over decision making as immigrant workers are a valuable strength to our society and economy, and I welcome their contributions.

David Holroyd 2 months, 2 weeks ago

This whining is exactly why it was kept a secret...if it had been coming to Lawrence, the moles at city hall would have leaked it faster than the "supposed women in Russia leaked onto a bed"..

Lawrence get over it. NOTHING is coming here for jobs.

This processing plant will not only employ 1600 people but there are the ranchers to raise chickens , the famers who will grow corn...I said before a reputable person I know in Ottawa is already making plans to raise chickens...and I might add that the chicken poop has a market as well...

Richard have you eaten chicken recently or ever? Dorothy have you eaten chicken? Even Cille I bet has eaten chicken. Fess up you whiners!

Tom Heshion 2 months, 1 week ago

I need the manure!! Hello everybody, I run an organic hay operation. We are desperately needing this manure. Let me address the seemingly honest worries of run-off and water pollution. The reason that fish die is because of Phosphorus overload. Processing plants, like Tyson, are doing everything that the FDA and USDA requires. But the real problem is that there is no regulation against small farmers who use this, or other fertilizers, that have run-off. Above, I saw a comment about "over-fertilization" and what that really means is that a farm that already has high phosphorus, uses this manure and adds to the problem. Although the farmers ground desperately needs the other minerals and this is a cheap solution, if his ground is already high in Phosphorus, he is the problem, not Tyson. There are three solutions. The first is to regulate the recipient of this manure. They should have to prove that their fields are low in phosphorus. Even then, if they put it down and we have lots of rain, they get run-off. The second, and much more accurate, way to solve this is to require that the recipient blade it into the ground and eliminate 95% of the run-off. If the ground NEEDS phosphorus, it will absorb and if it doesn't, it won't. Test the ground before agreeing to deliver to any farm. The third way is to distract the phosphorus before it leaves the plant. This is the best solution because there are other farmers that are low in Phosphorus that really need just that product, alone.

What I want to see is a program where Tyson must require that their sub's must turn over the manure to an independent third party that will adhere to the facts I mentioned above.

On the other hand, to all the naysayers, you may not want a minimum wage job, but in the off-season, I'd love to have one and I'm not an immigrant, or a thief, and I don't have any children that may overload your schools. In fact, I'm a 5th generation American and my tax dollars will help your schools. Please don't pickett against this while you sit there and judge whether or not I want a job. I need one. I also need this manure and I know how to handle it responsibility. Remember, I'm in the organic hay business and I really understand this issue. Organic farming is the way of the future because it puts minerals back into the ground. Please don't ruin it for all of us who have fought so hard to convert farmers to a better solution. Help us by reading what I have said above, allow the plant, and give me the manure. My past, already shows my intentions.

Tom Heshion 2 months, 1 week ago

typo above; responsibility = responsibly Sorry, I was interrupted.

Steve King 2 months, 1 week ago

This was done in secrecy. It had a code name. In May the County Commissioner traveled to Arkansas with Brownback to Tyson headquarters. In June commisssors signed a confidentiality agreement.Strawmen have been buying up property. For 6 months they've been installing a new water line under bogus pronouncements. In July the local Police Chief put his house up for sale. Today a $300,00 home sale was cancelled because of the Tyson plant. Property values are predicted, and supported by experience, to drop 40-50%. The Citizens were not informed until Brownback blew into Tonganoxie this week to announce his face saving "jobs creation" mantra. The Citizens are up in arms over this being cramed down their throats.

David Holroyd 2 months, 1 week ago

Fret not! Every household will get a chicken in the pot..and for those good folks in Lawrence Tysons' will not forget and you can have your choice of a pkg of legs or thighs at Christmas.

Just think all of the starving people in Lawrence could benefit for the Tyson Plant...donations of nuggets, thighs and breasts and even kneckbones........

I bet they would donate to the food bank...it does have a refrigerated truck thanks to Mr. Farmer and community development funds..as I recalll.....

A $300,000 dollar home was cancelled NEED MORE INFORMATION..was it near the proposed plant site? Holding out? Maybe?

Property values will drop 40-50%....well that's the time to buy!

Strawmen have been buying up property....kinda like KU Endowment does....:)

Steve King 2 months, 1 week ago

The Buyer backed out due to Tyson moving in. If your personal property value dropped 40 to 50% I don't think you'd be so cavalier.

Carol Bowen 2 months, 1 week ago

The biggest void in Lawrence area's incomes is between $40,000 and $75,000. I doubt Tyson will be paying wages that high or higher. Residents commuting to Kansas City are not commuting for chicken feed.

Any ol' job does not necessarily address the gaps in the local economy. Low income does not translate to spendable income.

David Holroyd 2 months, 1 week ago

Carol, what jobs do you propose Lawrence can attract?

Given the road system the best locations for a factory is along I-70 and listen to the whiners then.

Are you happy with the employers in East Hills? My neighbor did not want to sell that farm but she caved in hoping that local kids could get employment if she had not sold it KU would have gotten it in the first Will she had written..

God know what they would have done with it...and she knew that !

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