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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Contractor Sues Tyson Foods Over Closing of Dexter Complex


The Kesler family, with 14 growing houses, has filed suit against Tyson Foods in Stoddard County, MO. as a result of the decision by the integrator to close the Dexter MO. plant.  As a result, the Kesler family has been deprived of income since they are located approximately 50 miles from the nearest complex that may or may not be in a position to extend a contract. The Kesler family claim that they expanded their operation and invested in new housing and equipment at the request of Tyson Foods.


The case will be an important test of relationships between integrators and contract growers.  In many areas with processing plants operated by different companies in close proximity, cancellation of a contract allows a contractor to affiliate with an alternative integrator.  In the case of the Dexter, MO. complex and others, especially new operations situated remotely in non-traditional broiler growing states, contractors are in a difficult position with respect to receiving chicks and growing flocks should contracts be terminated for other than justifiable cause.


At present contracts may extend from a single flock to a year or more but Federal guaranteed mortgages are usually for 15 years. This discrepancy has attracted the attention of the USDA in their attempt to “restructure” intensive livestock production favoring independent farmers and contractors.

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