Protesters Rally In Wichita Against Tyson Project

Nov 19, 2017
Originally published on November 20, 2017 5:30 am

Demonstrators held a protest in Wichita on Saturday against a proposal to bring a Tyson poultry complex to Sedgwick County.

About 75 people spread across three corners at Douglas and Emporia in downtown Wichita, where the Greater Wichita Partnership’s office is located. The organization is helping spearhead the effort to bring a $320 million Tyson plant to the area.

One proposed site is reportedly in rural Clearwater, Kansas, not far from Loid Wilson's home. He learned about the project after he started seeing "No Tyson" signs around his neighborhood.

"My wife reads the paper a little bit, and she's seen where they were trying to come into Sedgwick County, and I said, 'Well, hoping it's not around here,'" he said.

Wilson said he raised his family on their five-acre property along 79th Street. He said there is other land in Kansas for a plant that's not so close to people's homes.

"I like the calmness, the quietness, and would love to keep it that way," he said. "My belief [is], something like that, such a plant, they ought to move it on out further. Get it away from all them houses, is what I think."

Opponents of the proposal say Tyson will be a burden on the area’s water supply, and point to the company’s record of environmental violations. But much is still unknown about the project, including whether or not it’s even coming: Cloud and Montgomery Counties are also being considered for the new plant.

Sedgwick County Commissioners are scheduled to discuss the matter during a public meeting later this month.

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