Congressmen spread message of hope after fire to Finney County Tyson plant

GARDEN CITY, Kan. Congressmen Roger Marshall and Jerry Moran spread a message of hope in Garden City, less than a week after a fire causes extensive damage to the nearby Tyson Foods plant.

Many in the area feared for the worst Friday night as flames threatened the structure of the plant in Holcomb. Thanks to a quick emergency response the fire caused less damage than Marshall expected and with a speedy repair plan, the U.S. representative is optimistic.

"Boy, it seems like Tyson is committed and they're ready to go," Marshall says of the clean up effort already underway and rebuilding plans in place. "They're talking about this about this taking months, not years to rebuild. So, everybody, just take a deep breath, we're going to get through this crisis."

Marshall and Moran aren't working directly with Tyson, but are encouraging government agencies like the Kansas Department of Transportation to step in,

With the Tyson plant in Holcomb still shut down, area ranchers, at least for now, have to send cattle elsewhere. That means more transportation costs.

"The trucking industry will be hugely impacted by this," Moran says. "And what we're looking for is perhaps a waiver for hours of service. So, if you have to haul the cattle further distance to Texas or Nebraska, you'll be able to do that."

Moran says Kansans support the beef industry and hopes the market recovers quickly.

"This is something that all Kansans will rally around Finney County to make sure the consequences are minimized," he says.

Among the local support, the Garden City High School football team Tuesday donated $1,105 to the Finney County United Way from a car wash fundraiser the team organized last Saturday for Tyson and its employees impacted by the fire.

We expect further information on the rebuilding effort and Tyson's future outlook during a 3:30 p.m. Wednesday news conference in Garden City. Kansas Governor Laura Kelly,Tyson Foods President & CEO, Noel White and Tyson Fresh Meats President Steve Stouffer will deliver remarks.

"The company is hosting a brief gathering with local and state officials to show its commitment to its team and the community," Tyson Foods says in its media advisory ahead of Wednesday's news conference.