Home to our company’s humble beginnings, the state of Arkansas holds the largest concentration of Tyson Foods plant communities. Community engagement is championed at all our locations, including the World Headquarters office. In 2013, Tyson Foods invited Arkansas state lawmakers and community leaders to participate in a KNOW Hunger Challenge in Springdale. The event, hosted in partnership with Elanco, challenged lawmakers to feed a family of four with $100 for seven days by utilizing the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) standards.
Representatives from Tyson Foods, Elanco, Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, Arkansas Department of Human Resources, and Arkansas Children’s Hospital judged participants on budget, creativity, and nutritional value of the products they selected. Participants included Arkansas state representatives and officials from the Department of Agriculture, Governor Mike Beebe’s office, Ag Council of Arkansas, Chamber of Commerce, congressional offices, and Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance. Food purchased during the event was donated to the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank.
Tyson Foods is also an annual sponsor of the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance’s Serving Up Solutions dinner at The Governor’s Mansion. The event is a silent auction, live auction, and full-course dinner prepared by local chefs. Dinner is served by Arkansas Legislative Hunger Caucus members, First Lady Ginger Beebe, lobbyists and sponsors.
The beginning of the school year marks a busy time for every community. Each year, our Clarksville, Arkansas, Team Members have donated approximately 250 items to help families in the Westside School District to get a jump on school supplies in hopes of giving the kids a good start to a great school year. This year, supplies were distributed at the Coal Hill City Park during the “Back to School Bash” in August.
Recognizing the hard work of teachers, Team Members at our Tyson Distribution Center in Rogers, Arkansas, have served lunch to teachers from the local school district at Westside Elementary School. Members of our A-shift management team were honored to show teachers appreciation for all they do to help local school children learn, grow and become successful adults.
Our Grannis-Broken Bow complex, with facilities in Grannis, Arkansas, and Broken Bow, Oklahoma, is a long-time supporter of the Polk County 4H Pullet Chain. In 2014, the complex contributed funds for start-up costs of soccer programs at the Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas in De Queen. The complex is also a supporter of the university’s rodeo program.
On behalf of the Grannis plant, the complex also donated to the 2014 Sevier Country Relay for Life campaign to help the American Cancer Society. As a part of Earth Day recognition, Team Members from the location also picked up trash and cleaned ditches on sections of U.S. Hwy 71, one mile north and one mile south of the Grannis plant.
The Grannis-Broken Bow complex also helped enhance the learning adventures of the De Queen, Arkansas, Middle School Science Club who took an educational field trip to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, this past spring. To assist them with their travels, the complex donated 100 Tyson® branded tote bags for the students to carry their belongings and treated the group to a pizza meal which the students ate at the Oklahoma City Science Museum. Other stops for the students included the local zoo, Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial and Frontier City Amusement Park.
We realize that youth development happens inside and outside the classroom, year round. Thanks to the involvement of our Team Members in Dardanelle and Russellville, Arkansas, Tyson Foods was selected as the Corporate Sponsor of the Year for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Arkansas River Valley and earned the 2014 Outstanding Community Support award from the Russellville Boys & Girls Club.
In Central Arkansas,
Team Members from our North Little Rock, Arkansas, location are active volunteers with the Arkansas Food Bank’s hunger relief efforts including its Annual Cereal Drive. Each year, the team takes pride in serving food to hundreds of patrons at the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce's Taste of the Town, in which proceeds support the Chamber’s educational programs.
Tyson Foods Pine Bluff, Arkansas, is actively involved in education at local schools and colleges. The complex works closely with University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Monticello campuses, and Southeast Arkansas College to recruit students for internship and maintenance training opportunities at the facility.
In partnership with the Pine Bluff Chamber of Commerce and the Jefferson County Manufacturing Council, we helped fund a video entitled “Building a career in manufacturing – Some assembly required” to better equip young adults entering the workforce with knowledge of opportunities.
Team Members at our Van Buren, Arkansas, facility have provided coats for children in the community since 2007. In 2013, Team Members raised nearly $6,400 to buy new coats for children in need that season. The counselors at the schools work with our plant to insure that kids who truly need the coats receive them. Thanks to the generous donations of the Team Members, 108 students in five local elementary schools and two local middle schools were warmer during the winter months.
Our Cumming, Georgia, production facility works with local environmental groups such as Keep Forsyth County Beautiful, Master Gardeners, and Reaping Nature to do educational outreach. One of many successful projects includes a composting bin program for local schools. Tyson Foods of Cumming builds bins that may be used as a study aid for several different subjects.
Randy Payne, the Environmental, Health and Safety Manager at Tyson Foods of Cumming, said the whole school may throw their left over apple cores, lettuce and banana peels in the compost piles. Then fourth graders stir and maintain the bins while fifth graders design a business model on how to use compost for school beautification.
Other outreach programs have included demonstrations on proper water treatment and filtration, experiential nature outings with the Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts, and a variety of community beautification projects.
Our Louisa County, Iowa, plant has an ongoing, interactive partnership with three local school districts: Columbus, Wapello and Louisa-Muscatine.
These relationships have flourished because Tyson Foods enables Team Members to participate in a variety of ways like the Reading to Students program. The facility also hosts teachers’ tours through the plant, posts multi-lingual parent-teach conference reminders, and holds quarterly receptions for school administrators and faculty to be able to meet and greet our Team Members with children in the local schools.
We even have Team Members who hold school board positions. In addition to the partnership, the plant also believes in giving back to the school district through fundraisers and sponsorships such as the Back to School Bash, Teachers Breakfast, Teachers Annual Dinner, Wapello Future Farmers of America (FFA) Rodeo, Columbus FFA, Alumni FFA and the Columbus Athletic Boosters.
In 2012, the Louisa County plant became an Honorary Degree Holder with the FFA for sponsorship and supporting the Columbus FFA Chapter.