Tyson will build a poultry plant in Tennessee, but ‘we’re still interested in Kansas’

Tyson Foods on Monday announced plans for a new poultry processing plant in Tennessee, but officials say the food giant is still eyeing Kansas, too.

“We have been fully aware they were considering multiple locations and planning to build more than one new complex,” Kansas agriculture secretary Jackie McClaskey told The Star on Monday. “We anticipate positive news in 2018 as we continue to work with multiple Kansas communities and Tyson.” Tyson previously had stopped short of saying the Leavenworth County site was off the table, but representative Worth Sparkman confirmed on Monday it was no longer being considered.

“Tonganoxie and Leavenworth County are out of the running, so to speak,” he said. “We’ve decided to focus our due diligence on communities that have expressed interest in support of our investment.”

The company has not confirmed other sites in Kansas, but it has been widely reported that Sedgwick, Cloud and Montgomery counties, are among them. The company and state and county negotiators have characterized the talks as preliminary with no firm sites identified. Tyson has also said it is considering other states.

“We may eventually need to build a plant to meet demand,” Sparkman said. “We’re still interested in Kansas.”

(Read more: KC Star Local News)