Tyson makes big impact on county's economy

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tyson Foods is the largest employer in Carroll County, with an average workforce of more than 2,500 employees -- more than 10 percent of the county's population.

Tyson's processing plants and their related operations have a major impact on Carroll County's economy and its sense of community.

Tyson's local operations include processing plants in both Berryville and Green Forest.

Green Forest is also home to a hatchery, a truck shop and a grow-out office where field service technicians are based. Tyson also operated a feed mill in Bergman, located in Boone County.

Together, the Berryville, Green Forest and Bergman facilities are referred to collectively as the Berryville complex.

The company's annual payroll in Carroll County is $138 million. Complex employees live in Berryville, Green Forest and the rest of Carroll County, which means those payroll dollars benefit the local economy and tax base.

The Green Forest plant was originally built in 1959 by Franz Foods and was purchased by Tyson in 1967. The company added four par fry chicken lines to the plant in 1986.

The Berryville plant was originally built in 1951 by Ocoma Foods Inc., which produced turkeys, and was purchased by Tyson in 1972. Ten fully cooked production lines were added to the plant in 1988.

Hundreds of plant employees have tenures of 15 to 35 years.

Tyson's economic impact on Carroll County doesn't include just its payroll employees, however. Hundreds of independent farmers in the county have contracts to grow chickens for the Berryville complex. Farmers raise the chickens on their own land and they are then processed at the Berryville and Green Forest plants. Total grower pay for the complex is in the tens of millions of dollars.

Tyson also benefits the local economy by paying combined property taxes and utilities of $18.4 million annually.

Tyson is also very active in a number of local charities and activities.

When Tyson says it feeds the U.S.A., it's not bragging. But right here at home, it's very clear that Tyson feeds Carroll County.

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