Published by News-Press Now 

Written by: Ray Scherer

Smithfield Foods Inc. is observing the one-year anniversary of the national expansion of Smithfield Renewables, which includes projects that seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2025.

The company owns hog-finishing spaces in Missouri, which will feature the implementation of “manure-to-energy” projects across the entire operation for the next 10 years.

Smithfield and Roeslein Alternative Energy have embarked on a joint venture to launch the second phase of a project that converts manure collected from company-owned farms into renewable natural gas, producing enough to power 15,400 homes per year.

By the end of this phase, Smithfield and RAE will have jointly installed biogas infrastructure across all company-owned finishing farms in Missouri.

The project also will harvest prairie grass for methane generation. The harvested grasses, which supplement the biogas generation particularly during the winter, are part of a prairie restoration effort supported by Smithfield.

Earlier this year, Smithfield expanded its support by becoming the first food company to participate in the Environmental Defense Fund’s Monarch Butterfly Exchange, a program that restores monarch butterfly habitats on private lands that include the Missouri hog farms.

Several other projects are being implemented across its operations and supply chain toward reducing carbons.

On its hog farms, one area of new technologies will reduce truck traffic and miles traveled by more than 85 percent on certain routes.

A collaboration with university and other partners will identify the impact of “waste-to-energy” technology on environmental outcomes and attempt further improvements to manure management systems.