Tyson will spend approximately $6.6 million to install equipment and make other improvements in the plant in order to begin pet treat production in early 2010.
The new operation will initially employ more than 60 people, including production workers and management, and is expected to grow to more than 100 within the next couple of years.
For competitive reasons, Tyson officials said it is premature to provide specific details about the pet treats, but indicated the products produced at Independence are intended to be sold in the US under multiple brand names.
"The $3 billion pet treats market has experienced more than an 8% compound annual sales growth over the past five years and does not appear to be adversely affected by the economic slow down," said Dave Hogberg, general manager of Pet Products for Tyson.
"We believe this is an area of great opportunity and this initiative is a natural extension of our strategy to value-up raw materials into higher margin categories."
While Tyson has historically been involved in supplying raw materials for pet foods, this will be the first company facility involved in the production of finished, retail-ready pet products.
The Independence plant has been closed since early 2006, when Tyson consolidated some of its deli meat operations. The plant, which employed 300 people, had been in operation for more than 50 years.