SPRINGDALE, Ark. Dec. 4, 2014 – Officials from Tyson Foods, Inc. thanked Storm Lake community leaders Thursday for their support of the company’s turkey processing plant in the aftermath of a fire earlier this year that idled the facility for eight months.
During an event at the plant, Tyson Foods’ Ray Team, who oversees the company’s Storm Lake turkey operations, expressed his appreciation to the community and presented a check for $5,400 to the Storm Lake Fire Department to purchase equipment. Mayor Jon Kruse also spoke. In addition, community leaders were given a brief tour of the remodeled facility, which resumed production in late November.
The turkey plant was severely damaged in March by fire that accidentally started in the dark meat room.
“Thankfully, there were no injuries in the fire, but damage to the plant was extensive and portions required major renovations before it could safely operate,” Team said. “Storm Lake first responders did a great job helping us the day of the fire and we’re grateful for their efforts. We also received an outpouring of support and offers of help from others in the community.”
The turkey plant became part of Tyson Foods in late August when The Hillshire Brands Company was acquired by Tyson Foods. Tyson also owns and operates a pork plant in Storm Lake.
“Tyson Fresh Meats has been a part of the community for a long time,” said Noel White, president of poultry for Tyson Foods. “We’re glad to have more people from Storm Lake on the Tyson Foods team.”
After the fire, management announced that all Storm Lake employees would continue to be paid and receive medical benefits as the plant was being rebuilt. Many employees were involved in clean-up and rebuilding efforts. In September, Tyson Foods launched an exercise program in conjunction with local healthcare organizations to ensure employees would be physically ready to return to work.
After more than six months of rebuilding, the plant is now partially open for business. Currently, the turkey plant’s white meat turkey processing area is up and running. The dark meat operations are expected to resume in January.
Tyson Foods’ Storm Lake turkey facility will employ approximately 700 people when it returns to full production. The company’s pork processing plant in Storm Lake employs more than 1,900 people.
About Tyson Foods
Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN), with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is one of the world's largest producers of chicken, beef, pork and prepared foods that include leading brands such as Tyson®, Jimmy Dean®, Hillshire Farm®, Sara Lee® frozen bakery, Ball Park®, Wright®, Aidells® and State Fair®. The company was founded in 1935 by John W. Tyson, whose family has continued to lead the business with his son, Don Tyson, guiding the company for many years and grandson, John H. Tyson, serving as the current chairman of the board of directors. Tyson Foods provides a wide variety of protein-based and prepared foods products and is the recognized market leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves, supplying customers throughout the United States and approximately 130 countries. It has approximately 124,000 Team Members employed at more than 400 facilities and offices in the United States and around the world. Through its Core Values, Code of Conduct and Team Member Bill of Rights, Tyson Foods strives to operate with integrity and trust and is committed to creating value for its shareholders, customers and Team Members. The company also strives to be faith-friendly, provide a safe work environment and serve as stewards of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it.
Media Contact: Mike Cummins, Tyson Foods