The Kansas Legislature wants to make it easier for large-volume poultry companies to operate within the Sunflower State.
The Kansas State House of Representative approved by a 2-1 margin a bill that would allow farmers who use dry manure processing systems to raise up to one-third of a million birds per poultry farm before they would need a state health permit. The bill was previously passed by the Kansas Senate.
Lawmakers hope the measure will make it easier for companies such as Tyson foods to operate within the state. Last year Tyson proposed a new facility near Tonganoxie in the northeast part of the state, but later cancelled those plans after protests from Tonganoxie residents. Tyson later announced plans to build that facility in Tennessee, but the company is reportedly still considering its options in Kansas.
"We in Kansas take considerable pride in the fact that our farmers feed an ever-increasing share of the world's population, improving the quality of life thereof," said Rep. Les Mason (R-McPherson) in a written statement. "We also have become accustomed to being able to walk into our corner store and find a nearly limitless supply of food, fiber and protein to feed and nourish our own families. It's unrealistic to believe that either of those is sustainable if we limit the means of production."
The bill now goes to Kansas’ governor for his signature.