SMITHFIELD, Va., April 09, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Smithfield Foods, Inc., is pleased to announce a combined $120,000 donation to support the 2019 National Conservation Foundation (NCF) Envirothon—North America’s largest environmental education program and international competition that brings together teams from across the U.S., Canada, and China to compete for recognition and scholarships.

Smithfield’s combined support of the program encompasses a $60,000 donation benefitting competitions at the local and regional levels, $35,000 in Smithfield-sponsored scholarships awarded to the top three championship teams, and $25,000 presented to the North Carolina Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts for its role as the host of the 2019 championship competition.

“Smithfield has offered strong support for the NCF-Envirothon and local event competitions over the last five years, providing students with quality experiences and a better understanding of sustainable practices,” said Tim Reich, vice chair of the NCF Board of Trustees. “Smithfield's continuous push toward environmental sustainability also provides a real-world example of companies impacting change. The National Conservation Foundation commends Smithfield for their leadership and generous support of our cause year after year.”

More than 50,000 high school students compete in teams through hands-on and in-class activities to demonstrate their knowledge of soils and land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife, and current environmental issues during regional and statewide competitions leading into the international event. Winning teams will progress to the 2019 Envirothon Championship, which will take place July 28 through August 2 on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“We are thrilled to support Envirothon’s mission to encourage environmental stewardship as it aligns with Smithfield’s ever-important commitments to sustainability and support of community vitality,” said Stewart Leeth, vice president of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. “At Smithfield, we know this next generation of leaders will one day play a meaningful role in creating a more sustainable tomorrow and we are eager to support them.”

In addition to financial support from the company, Smithfield employees donate their time and expertise to the program. During the regional, statewide, and international competitions throughout the year, Smithfield employees serve as volunteer advisors to lead training sessions, facilitate program curriculum, and coordinate activities.

Smithfield’s industry-leading sustainability strategy is focused on pillars that represent its key areas of sustainability focus: Animal Care, Environment, Food Safety and Quality, Helping Communities, and People. The company actively supports NCF and its efforts to advance environmental education, aligning with both Smithfield’s environmental initiatives and its commitment to support the vitality of local communities through education.

For more information about Smithfield’s sustainability program, recent achievements, and industry-leading environmental programs, visit Smithfield’s most recent Sustainability Report available HERE.

About Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Nathan’s Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, Farmer John®, Kretschmar®, John Morrell®, Cook’s®, Gwaltney®, Carando®, Margherita®, Curly’s®, Healthy Ones®, Morliny®, Krakus®, and Berlinki®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com, and connect with us on FacebookTwitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

About NCF-Envirothon

NCF-Envirothon is a hands-on, environmental problem-solving, leadership development program and competition for high school students held annually throughout North America and China. Participating teams complete training and testing in five natural resource categories: soils/land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife and current environmental issues. The program combines in-class curriculum and hands-on field experiences to provide an E-STEM program for students in environmental education, science, technology, engineering and mathematics. NCF-Envirothon works in partnership with local conservation districts, and their state associations, forestry associations, educators, school officials, and cooperating natural resources agencies to organize and conduct competitions on the local, regional, state and/or provincial level. Winning teams from each state and province advance to a final competition for the opportunity to compete for recognition, scholarships and prizes as well as an understanding of natural resources issues. For more information on this exciting program visit www.envirothon.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Smithfield Foods, Inc.
Lisa Martin
lvmartin@smithfield.com 
(757) 365-1980