Tyson Foods is to build a new chicken production complex in the City of Humboldt in Tennessee.
The $300 million (m) project is expected to create more than 1,500 jobs once the new complex begins operations in late 2019 and will help the company meet strong consumer demand for its chicken.
The complex will comprise a processing plant, hatchery, a feed mill and related operations. Tyson Foods will build these 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.
Once operational, the new plant will produce pre-packaged trays of fresh chicken for retail grocery stores nationwide and is expected to process 1.25 million birds per week, increasing Tyson Foods’ overall production capacity by the same amount. The payroll and payments to farmers from the new operation, along with its purchase of grain and utilities, are expected to generate an annual economic benefit to the state of Tennessee of $150m.
A ‘major investment’
“This project will enable us to provide even more fresh chicken to consumers across the country,” said Tom Hayes, president and CEO of Tyson Foods. “As one of the world’s leading protein companies, we continue to raise the world’s expectations of how much good food can do.”
This marks the second major economic development project Tyson Foods has announced for Tennessee this year. In August, the company unveiled an $84m expansion of its Union City operations, which is expected to create about 300 jobs. This is in addition to the more than 1,000 jobs currently at the facility. Including Union City, the company currently operates four facilities in the state, employing about 5,000 with an annual payroll of more than $181m.
Doug Ramsey, group president of poultry for Tyson Foods, said: “Our company has been successfully producing chicken in Tennessee for more than 45 years, so we’re pleased to expand our presence in the state with this major investment. We’re grateful for the invitation to become part of Humboldt and Gibson County. The location is attractive to us because of the strong support we’ve received from state and local leaders, the existing industrial park and availability of labour, as well as access to feed grains produced in the region.”
Humboldt Mayor Marvin Sikes added: “This is an historic day for Humboldt, Gibson County and West Tennessee. 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.”