Kansas poultry farm bill awaits governor’s approval

A bill that sets guidelines for future poultry farms to be located in Kansas awaits approval from the governor after it received approval from both the Senate and the House.

Roy Graber Headshot
(Wabeno, Bigstock)
(Wabeno, Bigstock)

A bill that sets guidelines for future poultry farms to be located in Kansas awaits approval from the governor after it received approval from both the Senate and the House.

The bill, according to the Kansas State Legislature website, was approved by the House of Representatives by a 84-37 margin on March 12. The bill had already approved by the Senate, 29-10, on February 22.

Under Senate Bill 405, which was initially introduced in the Kansas Senate Ways and Means Committee, poultry barns in Kansas could not be closer than a quarter of a mile from an occupied home, excluding a homestead located on the same property with the chicken barns. The bill also would require farms with more than 125,000 broilers or 82,000 layers to obtain a federal permit.

While Kansas is presently not heavily involved in poultry production, the need for laws pertaining to poultry production became more relevant in 2017, when Tyson Foods announced plans to build a new poultry complex that included a poultry plant, feed mill and hatchery in the community of Tonganoxie, in Leavenworth County. Following public opposition and withdrawn support from elected officials, Tyson Foods backed away from its plans to build in Tonganoxie and instead announced plans to build in Humboldt, Tennessee. However, the company stated that it would continue to consider other locations in Kansas for future poultry complexes.

Two of those elected officials from the Tonganoxie area that withdrew support following the voicing of public opposition were Reps. Jim Karleskint, R-Tonganoxie, and Willie Dove, R-Bonner Springs. They both voted against Senate Bill 405.

The bill will now be sent on to Gov. Jeff Colyer for final approval. Colyer was lieutenant governor of the state while Tyson was still considering a site in Leavenworth County, but he assumed the governorship on January 31 when then-Gov. Sam Brownback was confirmed to a position within the Donald Trump administration.

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