Tyson to Rebuild Kansas Plant

Tyson Beef Plant Near Garden City Temporarily Shut down After Weekend Fire

A file photo of The Tyson Foods plant near Garden City, Kansas. The plant is shut down indefinitely after part of the facility was heavily damaged in a fire Friday night. (DTN file photo)

OMAHA (DTN) - Tyson Foods said Monday its beef plant in Holcomb, Kansas, will be shut down indefinitely after a weekend fire, but the company will rebuild and employees will be paid until production resumes.

A spokeswoman for Tyson said about 3,800 people work at the plant.

The plant is located in Holcomb, Kansas, but is often referred to as the Garden City plant, which is nearby. About 1,200 workers had to be evacuated from the plant Friday night when the fire broke out about 8:30 p.m. CDT. No injuries were reported from the fire.

"This is a difficult time for our team members and their families, and we want to ensure they're taken care of," said Steve Stouffer, group president of Tyson Fresh Meats. "Today, we will notify our full-time, active team members that they'll be paid weekly until production resumes."

The Wall Street Journal reported the Holcomb facility processes up to 6,000 cattle a day, which accounts for about 5% of U.S. cattle slaughter.

Stouffer said the team members may be called on to work during this time to help with clean-up and other projects, but regardless of the hours worked, all full-time active employees are guaranteed pay.

Tyson Foods operates six plants in Kansas, and Stouffer said the company is taking steps to move production to alternative sites. "Tyson Foods has built in some redundancy to handle situations like these and we will use other plants within our network to help keep our supply chain full," Stouffer said.