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Tyson Foods celebrates 50 years in Berryville, Ark.

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 5:28 PM CDT
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BERRYVILLE, Ark. (KY3) - When Tyson opened its plant in Berryville in 1971, it wasn’t quite what it is today.

Fast forward 50 years. As mayor Tim McKinney explains the plant continues to give back to the community.

”They’ve kind of been the anchor of our community for many years,” he said. “It’s kind of evolved over the years into a partnership with them.”

When Tyson opened its doors in Berryville, many weren’t sure what may come of it in a town of just more than 5,000.

”There’s not probably anyone in Berryville or the Carroll County area that is not in some way or another effected by Tyson,” said McKinney.

As the mayor explained, having a large plant isn’t always easy.

”In a small town where you’ve got one customer that uses 75% of you water, so there’s always challenges with meeting their needs,” McKinney said. “But they’re really good at working with us to make sure we keep everything in line.”

As the years have passed, the plant worked hand in hand on several projects, like the community center.

”They contribute to the community through food banks, all the cheerleaders, chamber of commerce. There’s just so many things they do,” said McKinney

Tyson and the surrounding community have grown hand in hand.

”We want to be a good corporate citizen,” said Tyson Complex Manager Ty Price. “We like to give back to the community as much as we can, and in part that’s because we live here. We want to be a community that has the facilities like this convention center.”

Getting to 50 years was tougher than expected, thanks to COVID-19. Roughly a year ago the plant nearly had to temporarily close its doors do to a high volume of COVID-19 cases among workers.

”Very, very early on we got very aggressive on the COVID front,” said Price. “We started the temp taking over a year ago for all of our team members, a mask mandate for all of the team members.”

And with the help of vaccines have continue to keep operations going throughout the pandemic.

”What’s really awesome is I’m not wearing a mask today, because we finally got the vaccinations out and we’re getting our people vaccinated and are able to take those off,” said Price.

Even more impressive is the plants test of time with the help of a community along the way.

”To be in one area for 50 years, Tyson Foods has and being able to be successful and have the support of the community, I can’t even describe how important that is,” said Price.

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