Environmentalists Greet New Tyson CEO Dean Banks With “Welcome” Protest on First Week of Work 

NWA citizens rally at Tyson HQ as CEO starts job, calling for fulfilled promises, transparency, regenerative agricultural practices and community health 

Springdale, AR – As Dean Banks arrived at the Tyson Foods headquarters for his first week as CEO, he was greeted by over two dozen protestors telling him “Keep Your Promise.” In 2018, Tyson pledged to implement sustainable farming practices on 2 million acres by this year. However, just months away from the deadline, Tyson has provided no details on how the company will meet that goal. The activists showed up to the headquarters with a 15’ contract renewal, calling on Banks to sign. 

“After years of expanding the Dead Zone in the Gulf, emitting dangerous levels of greenhouse gases, and dirtying drinking water sources, Tyson cannot expect local communities to trust them in blind faith” Mighty Earth activist and University of Arkansas undergraduate Caroline Crawford said. “I came out to protest today so that Banks knows upfront that there’s a strong mandate for him to follow through on company promises and provide full information on how goals will be met.”  

“Regenerative agricultural methods that focus on soil health and micro-biology have been shown by academia and scientific trials to provide higher yields than Tyson’s current grain operations that are dependent on the chemical fertilizers that leach into our watershed” permaculture designer and CEO of Biodesic Strategies Tas Zinck said. “The partnerships between these chemical companies and big agriculture and their influence on policy makes it nearly impossible for smaller farmers to transition to these healthier systems. Tyson must lead the way in this transition”  

The demonstrators called on Tyson to clean up the company’s supply chain by implementing a suite of sustainability measures, and specifically demanded that Tyson mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, protect soil health and reduce runoff and drinking water contamination. 

In February, dozens of citizens from Northwest Arkansas converged on the Tyson shareholder meeting calling on company executives to follow through on their commitment. Tyson responded to the protest by re-stating an intention to meet the goal, yet still refused to provide detail.

See Muskogee Phoenix and KNWA and Fox24 coverage