In this file:


·         Media Release: Smithfield® Announces Top 24 Teams Competing at the Inaugural Smokin’ With Smithfield National Barbecue Championship

·         At Smithfield Foods' slaughterhouse, China brings home U.S. bacon



Smithfield® Announces Top 24 Teams Competing at the Inaugural Smokin’ With Smithfield National Barbecue Championship


Source: Smithfield Foods

via GlobeNewswire/Yahoo Finance - November 5, 2019


SMITHFIELD, Va., Nov. 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As a proud investor in competition barbecue, Smithfield® is pleased to announce the 24 qualifying teams participating in the first-ever Smokin’ With Smithfield National Barbecue Championship, taking place from Thursday, Nov. 14 – Sunday, Nov. 17 at NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans. After a year-long points chase, the following 24 teams, who earned the highest scores amongst 370 registered national and international teams, will face-off in a three-round, single elimination playoff contest for the chance to win a piece of the $50,000 cash prize pool and the coveted title of National Barbecue Champion:


    4 Legs Up BBQ, Kelly Wertz - Great Bend, Kan.

    Boomerang BBQ, Matthew Walker - Wolfforth, Texas

    B-S BBQ Outlaws, Bob Stanfiel - Hill City, S.D.

    Buckshot BBQ, Jayde Henley - Midland, Texas

    Bunch Of Swines, Edward Gash - Swindon, United Kingdom

    Business As Usual Cookers, Caleb Warden - Deer Park, Texas

    Cajun Blaze, Adam Gautreau - Gonzales, La.

    Chat N Choo BBQ, Chris Hatcher - Haslet, Texas

    Chickapicow, Allan Freeman - Spring, Texas

    Gettin' Basted, Brad Leighninger - Springfield, Mo.

    Heavy Smoke, Chris Schafer - O’Fallon, Mo.

    Iowa’s Smokey D's BBQ, Darren Warth - Des Moines, Iowa

    iQ BBQ, Richard Wagers - Nijkerk, Netherlands

    Lucky's Q, Justin McGlaun - Waverly, Iowa

    Pig-Chicka-Cow-Cow, Lee Thompson - Apopka, Fla.

    Race Crew BBQ, Jason Sagmiller - Spring, Texas

    Razorracks BBQ, Drew Davis - Pleasant Plains, Ark.

    Redmule's Bad Ass BBQ, Lee Hickel - Sinton, Texas

    Rio Valley Meats BBQ, Fred Robles - Weslaco, Texas

    Scooter's, Paul Whitaker - Midland, Texas

    Shake 'n Bake BBQ, Tim Scheer - New Haven, Mo.

    Slap’s BBQ, Joe Pearce - Kansas City, Kan.

    Texas Oil Dust, Aaron Lesley - Midland, Texas

    Wolf’s Revenge BBQ, Chiles Cridlin - Henrico, Va.


The Smokin’ With Smithfield National Barbecue Championship is the first competition of its kind, as it is open to all competition barbecue cooks and designed to level the playing field across all major sanctioning bodies. Registered teams earned points based on their performance at sanctioned events throughout the past year, with the highest scoring teams facing off to compete in multiple categories including pork ribs and butts, chicken, and brisket.


“Smithfield is thrilled to recognize some of the best on the barbecue circuit – both seasoned and rookie teams from all over the world – with the first-ever unified competition,” said Laura Pall, brand manager for Smithfield Foods. “We thank all of those who registered and competed throughout the year, and we can’t wait to see these teams throw down and go hog wild in New Orleans!”


For more information about the Smokin’ With Smithfield National Barbecue Championship, as well as details for the 2020 Smokin’ With Smithfield Grant or Committed Cooks programs, please visit


About Smithfield

A leading provider of high-quality pork products, Smithfield was founded in 1936 in Smithfield, Virginia, establishing the town as the “Ham Capital of the World.” From hand-trimmed bacon and slow-smoked holiday hams to marinated tenderloins, Smithfield brings artistry, authenticity and a commitment to heritage, flavor, and handcrafted excellence to everything it produces. With a vast product portfolio including smoked meats, hams, bacon, sausage, ribs, and a wide variety of fresh pork cuts, the company services retail, foodservice, and deli channels across the United States and 30 countries abroad. All of Smithfield’s products meet the highest quality and safety standards in the industry. To learn more about how Flavor Hails from Smithfield, please visit,, and Smithfield is a brand of Smithfield Foods.


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. Popular brands include 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, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.


Media Contact:

HUNTER: for Smithfield

Tiffany Daggett

(212) 679-6600


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At Smithfield Foods' slaughterhouse, China brings home U.S. bacon


Tom Polansek, Reuters

November 5, 2019


SMITHFIELD, Virginia (Reuters) - Smithfield Foods’ slaughterhouse in Virginia used to carve up pork for American sandwiches and holiday dinners. But workers now box up pig carcasses to ship to China, according to employees, local officials and industry sources.


The transformation at the Smithfield, Virginia, plant shows how the global meat industry is adapting to profit from African swine fever, a fatal pig disease that has killed millions of hogs in China and turned the world’s top pork consumer into a major meat importer.


Bought by China’s WH Group Ltd (0288.HK) six years ago for $4.7 billion, Smithfield Foods has retooled U.S. processing operations to direct meat to China, which produced half the world’s pork before swine fever decimated the industry.


The world’s biggest pork processor operates a white, box-shaped meat plant in Smithfield, Virginia, home to 8,000 as well as the company’s headquarters and a wider tourist economy built on its famous hams, bacon and sausages.


Since late spring, pigs trucked to the plant have been slaughtered and sliced into thirds for shipment to China, where Chinese workers process the carcasses further, company employees and industry sources told Reuters.


“They got an order to fill: China,” said one plant worker, who asked to remain anonymous.


Smithfield Foods declined to comment on the change or allow a reporter to visit the Virginia plant, which slaughters about 10,000 pigs a day.


The company previously said it was upgrading the facility, without giving details, and that U.S. business was a priority. Other Smithfield Foods plants in the United States have continued to slaughter pigs for the home market, industry sources said.


WH Group, known as Shuanghui International Holdings when it bought Smithfield Foods, did not respond to a request for comment.


However, Arnold Silver, Smithfield’s director of raw materials procurement, said at a recent industry conference that sales to China could eventually create bacon and ham shortages for American consumers.


The outbreak of African swine fever has killed up to half of China’s hog herd since August 2018 and pushed prices so high that Chinese importers are willing to pay hefty tariffs that Beijing imposed on U.S. pork as part of the countries’ bruising trade war.


U.S. pork producers say China’s losses from the disease have created a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for sales.


After shifting operations, Smithfield Foods can process pigs more quickly in Virginia because employees are doing less work on each carcass, according to the plant worker. The job is still difficult, though.


“They freeze it up. It’s heavy,” said the employee, who was wearing a brace to support his back and a sweatshirt to keep warm.




The United States exported 294.5 million kilograms of pork to China between January and August, according to U.S. Census Bureau data, more than in the whole of 2018.


Frozen carcasses accounted for about 20% of exports by weight from January to August, up from 0.3% during the same period in 2017, the data show.


Smithfield Foods was the top shipper this summer, sending at least 17.6 million kilograms of pork to China between June and September, according to Panjiva, a division of S&P Global Market Intelligence. Kansas-based Seaboard Corp (SEB.A) sold at least 5.3 million, Panjiva said. The firm noted its data does not capture all shipments.


Seaboard did not respond to a request for comment.


“Down the road, if this continues and we ship a lot of product to China, certainly I think we could see shortages, particularly on hams and bellies,” Smithfield’s Silver told the conference.


Smithfield Foods renovated its Virginia plant to supply carcasses to China, according to a person with direct knowledge of operations who asked not to speak publicly about the changes.


“There were departments that were completely eliminated or erased or remodeled,” the person said.


Tyson Foods Inc (TSN.N) and JBS USA [JBS.UL] are also maneuvering to increase sales by stopping the use of the growth drug ractopamine, which is banned by China.