July 29, 2011

Byron Petsch of Farmland Foods Recognized With TeamMates Champion Award

CRETE, Neb., July 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Byron Petsch, Assistant General Manager at Farmland Foods and coordinator of the plant's Learners to Leaders® program, was honored today by the TeamMates Mentoring Program(TM) with their respected Local Champion Award, given to recognize individuals or businesses that have gone above and beyond to support the TeamMates Mission in their community. Founded by former University of Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne and his wife Nancy in 1991, TeamMates provides encouragement and direction to middle and high school aged students.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110729/CG44278)

Across all TeamMates chapters, Petsch's service to the Crete area program prevailed as especially unique. "When our grant funding was curtailed this year, the future of Crete's mentorship project became uncertain, but Byron [Petsch] became instrumental in preserving our vitality," said Judy Kotas, TeamMates' Coordinator for Crete High School. Recognizing the broad value of this program to the local community, Petsch was determined to maintain its presence in the community. His tireless effort in support of Crete's TeamMates program resulted in a partnership with Learners to Leaders, an educational initiative of Smithfield Foods, Farmland's parent company, to support its functions during the 2011-2012 school year. "This program is crucial in the development of Crete students, some of whom face extraordinary challenges. It's great to know they will continue receiving key guidance to reach their true potential," said Petsch.

Learners to Leaders is an educational alliance of Smithfield Foods, its independent operating companies, like Farmland Foods, and local educational and mentoring partners such as TeamMates. Smithfield seeks to inspire positive social change by partnering with influential organizations like TeamMates, which has provided support to Crete's school-aged youth through its mentoring program for 12 years. "We applaud Byron for his hard work to ensure the longevity of a program that is so pivotal to the Crete community. The partnership he has forged with TeamMates represents a critical investment in the future of Crete," said Dennis Treacy, senior vice president of corporate affairs and chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. Together, Learners to Leaders and TeamMates will continue their efforts to inspire youth to meet their full potential.

About Smithfield Foods:

Smithfield Foods is a $12 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®, John Morrell® and Farmland®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust environmental, food safety, employee safety, animal welfare and community involvement programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com.

About Farmland Foods:

Farmland Foods Inc., headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc. Farmland provides a broad selection of pork products for retail and foodservice customers. Since its founding in 1959, Farmland has maintained a proud heritage of working side by side with American farm families. Farmland has a large and growing international business, exporting products to more than 35 countries across six continents. For more information, visit www.farmlandfoods.com.

About TeamMates:

The TeamMates Mentoring Program was founded in 1991 by former University of Nebraska Head Football Coach Tom Osborne and his wife Nancy. The program matches a student with a caring adult volunteer mentor to provide one hour of individual mentoring each week during the school year. Activities during the mentoring hour range from homework assignments and interactive games, to sharing common interests or simply engaging in conversation.

TeamMates began with 22 Nebraska football players mentoring middle school students in Lincoln Public Schools and has grown to more than 54,000 mentor-student matches in more than 120 communities across Nebraska, Iowa and California today.

SOURCE Farmland Foods