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Smithfield to Establish Joint Venture on Hog Waste


Stung by public opposition to hog-waste lagoons and adverse court judgments, Smithfield Foods is establishing a joint venture enterprise with Dominion Energy to convert waste into methane gas.  Designated projects will require $125 million for each of the two partners over ten years to convert from lagoons located on contract farms in North Carolina, Virginia and Utah.


Ken Sullivan, CEO of Smithfield noted, “The environmental footprint of agriculture has to do with the crops fed to livestock but also the waste part of animal agriculture.”  He added, “This effort is focused on the waste aspects and our endeavor to divert an inevitable part of the waste stream in to something usable that has economic benefit and in the process reduces our carbon footprint.” 


The conversion project will cover 90 percent of hog finishing in North Carolina and Utah.  The company is concentrating on the finishing phase of the production cycle since most waste is produced during the 20 weeks during which hogs grow from 50 pounds to market weight.