In this file:
· Kansas lawmakers pass bill aimed at luring big chicken plant
· Bill allowing large-scale poultry operations passes House, now goes to governor
· Coffeyville dissidents proclaim anti-Tyson view ahead of House vote on poultry bill
Kansas lawmakers pass bill aimed at luring big chicken plant
By John Hanna, Associated Press
via The Washington Post - March 12, 2018
TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas lawmakers approved legislation Monday aimed at attracting large chicken-processing plants to their state, six months after opposition in one Kansas City-area town stymied a $320 million project.
The bill would allow bigger poultry barns within a mile of residential areas. The House passed it Monday on an 84-37 vote; the Senate approved it last month, 29-10 . The bill goes to Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer next, and spokesman Kendall Marr said the governor plans to sign it.
The new law would take effect in July and more than triple the number of chickens that could be housed in poultry barns three-quarters of a mile or less from a home. It would allow barns with up to 333,000 chickens a quarter mile away.
Agribusiness giant Tyson Foods Inc. announced plans in September to build a chicken-processing plant outside Tonganoxie, near Kansas City, and had the backing of state officials, including Colyer. But many local residents were outraged, and the Springdale, Arkansas-based company put its plans on hold.
Officials in Cloud County in north-central Kansas and Coffeyville in southeastern Kansas still hope to attract a Tyson plant. Their legislators and other state officials argue that revising state standards will encourage Tyson or other companies to bring new jobs to the state.
State Rep. Susan Concannon, of Beloit, whose district includes Cloud County, said chicken-processing plants represent “economic development for our rural areas.”
“We’ve had that for decades with cattle feedlots. More recently, we’ve had large-scale swine operations and large-scale dairy operations come into the state,” said House Majority Leader Don Hineman, a Dighton Republican. “Each of those has been a huge plus for the Kansas economy.”
Kansas law currently limits poultry barns...
Bill allowing large-scale poultry operations passes House, now goes to governor
By Peter Hancock, Lawrence Journal-World (KS)
March 12, 2018
Topeka — The Kansas House gave final passage Monday to a bill that would allow large, factory-scale poultry feeding operations to do business in Kansas.
Senate Bill 405 is intended to pave the way for companies such as Tyson Foods to operate large-scale processing plants, such as the one it proposed last year near Tonganoxie.
It would allow farmers who use dry manure processing systems to raise up to one-third of a million birds in what are called confined animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, before they would need a state health permit. Those CAFOs would, in turn, supply the processing plant.
The 84-37 vote in the House sends the bill to Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer for his signature or veto.
Tyson's proposal in September to build a processing plant near Tonganoxie fell through amid widespread public opposition. But Tyson is now reported to be looking at other potential sites in Kansas, including Coffeyville.
Rep. Jim Karleskint, R-Tonganoxie, tried unsuccessfully to amend the bill during floor debate Friday by adding a provision that would have allowed for protest petitions and public votes in counties where such plants are proposed.
In addition, Rep. Eileen Horn, D-Lawrence, tried unsuccessfully to amend the bill to reduce the number of birds that could be housed in a facility before requiring a permit.
Rep. Jason Probst, D-Hutchinson, cited the failure of those two amendments as his reason for voting against the bill...
Coffeyville dissidents proclaim anti-Tyson view ahead of House vote on poultry bill
By Tim Carpenter, The Hays Daily News (KS)
Mar 12, 2018
TOPEKA — The Kansas Legislature raced to enact legislation making it easier to locate large poultry production and slaughtering facilities in Kansas at the same time a fledgling organization began making noise in Coffeyville contrary to local economic-development officials’ placement of a welcome map for Tyson Foods.
A bill approved by the Senate and up for a vote today in the House was developed at Tyson’s behest and leveraged by the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas State University, Republican and Democratic legislators, as well as officials in Coffeyville and Montgomery County.
Advocates are confident of passage by the House and a signature from Gov. Jeff Colyer, who wants to appeal to rural voters ahead of the August primary in the governor’s race.
“It is important to say that Kansas is open for business for poultry,” Rep. Kyle Hoffman, agriculture committee chairman and Clearwater Republican, said Friday during debate on the bill. “There are communities out there that are actively seeking companies to come in and begin making investments.”
The wave of political influence moving Senate Bill 405 didn’t stop a group from throwing up a billboard Wednesday in Coffeyville featuring the word “Tyson” in black capital letters. The text was covered by the universal symbol for “no,” a red circle with a diagonal line.
“Our organization, No Tyson in Montgomery County, is in opposition to a proposal to locate a Tyson chicken processing plant, or any other large-scale chicken processing plant, in Coffeyville,” said group spokesman Justin Martin.
He shared disappointment with the Montgomery County Action Council, a non-elected organization placing “greater emphasis on financial gain while ignoring social and environmental factors” in the recruitment of businesses.
The council’s process for vetting Tyson Foods has been “opaque, or secretive, and lacking of any opportunity for public discourse or debate,” Martin said.
Trisha Purdon, executive director of the Montgomery County Action Council, said addition of a large poultry production operation would bring economic diversity to southeast Kansas. The local economy has relied upon heavy industry to drive job creation with the presence of John Deere, CVR Refinery, Cessna Aviation, ACME Foundry and Spears, but the area lost jobs with departure of an Amazon distribution center and Southwire Manufacturing...