You may think that a rural farm community would jump at the chance to have a major new customer locate a processing facility right in their backyard. Throughout the farm belt though, farmers are fighting back against having meat processing facilities located in their towns. Some communities just don’t want to live near the plants that promise noxious odors, immigrant labor forces, and the increased use of infrastructure. Jacob Bunge reports at The Wall Street Journal about Tonganoxie, a small Kansas town currently fighting against the location of a new Tyson plant there. He writes:
Residents of Tonganoxie, a 5,300-person town in northeast Kansas, spent part of the fall hanging white-and-red placards that say “No Tyson in Tongie” on fenceposts and pickup trucks. Their efforts were part of a public push againstTyson Foods Inc., TSN -0.28% the largest U.S. meat processor by sales, which trumpeted in early September its plans to build a $320 million chicken-processing complex just south of town.
The investment, Tyson said, would bring 1,600 jobs to the area and deliver $150 million annually to the Kansas economy, in part because it would pay local farmers to raise chickens and buy locally grown grain to feed them. “Kansas will be an outstanding home for this Tyson complex,” said Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, who joined Tyson staff and local elected officials in Tonganoxie when they unveiled the plan.
Read more here.