Tyson Foods Inc. has plans to open a $300 million chicken facility outside Tonganoxie, Kansas.
The space is slated to hire around 1,600 employees to work in its hatchery, feed mill, and plant, which could potentially process over a million birds each week.
Although many public officials are pleased with the plans, residents of the town are not happy with the news. Tonganoxie resident Tana Walker was dismayed to learn that she could not discuss her concerns on the matter with her local representatives due to the non-disclosure agreements they signed.
“NDAs should not have a place in public policy when public funds are involved,” Walker told Kansas City radio station KCUR. She is worried that the plant will contribute to the town’s pollution and will bring odor and a lower quality of life.
“We really wanted to raise our kids in a small town that would give them a good upbringing and afford them the type of life that we both had,” Walker said. “We moved here in April to give them that, and now we regret moving here.”
Tyson officials are planning future town hall meetings so they can address the residents’ apprehensions. The facility is currently scheduled to open in 2019.
Tyson doesn’t only sell chicken; the brand is investing in alternative meat.