Pig farmers pay it forward, ham by ham

Pig farmers pay it forward, ham by ham

The National Pork Board, the Iowa Pork Producers Association, Smithfield Foods and PrairieFresh® Premium Pork joined forces today to support the second annual #HamsAcrossAmerica campaign in central Iowa.


After holding an early morning “Giving Tuesday” kickoff event to prepare and serve breakfast to clients of the Central Iowa Shelter and Services in Des Moines, the organizations participated in the presentation of a significant pork donation to the Food Bank of Iowa, courtesy of Smithfield Foods, Seaboard Foods, Triumph Foods and U.S. pig farmers.

“We’re lucky as Iowans to live in a state that produces more pork than any other. We’re also lucky at Food Bank of Iowa to live in a state with such a strong spirit of generosity,” said Matt Unger, Food Bank COO. “Donations like this today are actually vital to ensuring that every Iowan has enough to eat and that they’re receiving the proper nutrition.

Smithfield Foods donated nearly 30,000 pounds of pork for the campaign.

“Smithfield is proud to have the opportunity to donate safe pork products today,” said Todd Wilson of Smithfield Foods. “As pig farmers, we strive to do the right thing, be part of our community, take care of our animals, take care of our employees and be part of the community that we live in.”

Seaboard Foods and Triumph Foods donated almost 40,000 pounds of pork products to the Food Bank.

“On behalf of all those in our connected food system at Seaboard Foods and Triumph Foods who raise and care for our pigs and produce pork for the PrairieFresh® brand, we understand the importance of supporting our communities, whether that be someone next door in Iowa or a world apart,” said Terry Holton, Seaboard Foods president/CEO. “With Hams Across America, we’re honored to share our products so others might enjoy delicious, wholesome meals this holiday season.”

The donation was capped off by National Pork Board staff, which donated $1,500 to the Food Bank of Iowa for additional pork purchases.

“As pig farmers, giving back to our community always has been an integral part of who we are,” said Bill Tentinger, a pig farmer from Le Mars and a member of the National Pork Board and the Iowa Pork Producers Association Board of Directors. “Hams Across America and this kickoff event allow me and other farmers to live the We CareSM ethical principles and share our love of the product that we produce.”

Representatives of all of the above-mentioned organizations attended the donation presentation, along with about 20

Iowa pig farmers start unloading a trailer load of pork

Iowa State University swine interest group students. Several pork representatives ceremoniously unloaded the first two pallets of pork from a Smithfield semi-trailer.

The annual #HamsAcrossAmerica campaign encourages farmers and those involved in the pork industry to show appreciation for friends, family and neighbors through the gift of ham and other pork products.

Pig farmers and those involved in the pork industry are encouraged to extend “Giving Tuesday” through Dec. 23 with Hams Across America. Individuals can participate by purchasing a gift of ham and paying it forward to loved ones and those in need. Participants are encouraged to share their pay-it-forward stories on social media using #RealPigFarming and #HamsAcrossAmerica.