Tyson Pet Products Plans Expansion of Independence Plant

By George Ford, Reporter

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By Ellen Kurt

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa - A Buchanan County plant that manufactures dog treats will be expanding after being approved Tuesday for state financial assistance by the Iowa Economic Development Authority board.

Tyson Pet Products was approved for $1.1 million in tax credit assistance from Iowa's High Quality Jobs Program. The approval is contingent on the review of some late information received by the state agency.

Tyson Pet Products will remodel 75,000 square feet of an unoccupied portion of the 125,000 square-foot pet treats plant to expand production capacity. The expansion will essentially triple the production capacity of chicken jerky dog treats in Independence.

Plans call for the remodeling and equipment installation to occur in August, with production beginning in September. The project is valued at $24.1 million, according to documents from the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

The dog treats manufactured in Independence are sold under the True Chews, Nudges and Top Chews brands. The treats are sold across the United States to customers of Petsmart, Costco, Wegmans, Meijer and other pet specialty stores.

Tyson Pet Products, a division of Tyson Foods, reopened the Independence plant in 2010 after the parent company shut down production of chopped ham and sliced luncheon meats in March 2006.

The closing of the Independence plant and 43,000-square-foot Tyson Foods facility in Oelwein put 371 northeast Iowa residents out of work. Tyson continued to own the shuttered Independence plant, which it reopened after receiving financial incentives from Independence and the state.

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