Want to Save Jobs for Rural Virginians?

Someone in the Warner administration should ask Joe Luter, CEO of Smithfield Foods, why he can’t expand hog production in Southeastern Virginia. Here’s an advance peek at a story running in tomorrow’s VA Newswire:

Smithfield Packing to Consolidate Hog Processing Operations

SMITHFIELD—Smithfield Packing Company will shift hog processing operations from its Smithfield South facility to its Smithfield North and Tar Heel, N.C., facilities in October, allowing the company to use vacant plant space to install a production line for pre-cooked microwave bacon next year. The changeover affects approximately 570 of the company’s 4,000 employees in Southeast Virginia. The company hopes to rehire all affected employees over the next nine months.

Explained CEO Joseph W. Luter IV: “This difficult but necessary decision to discontinue hog processing at the Smithfield plant is driven largely by hog availability and competitive industry conditions. This lack of hog supply is the direct result of the moratorium on hog farms in North Carolina and the de facto moratorium in Virginia.” (My emphasis.) More.

Jerry Kilgore and Tim Kaine, can you sniff a new campaign issue?

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  1. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    There may be an issue with fines or future costs the Smithfield plant faced ( or paid?) for polluting the Pagan River.

    I’d like to know if overall production will decrease or just shift locations. If it is shifting, then follow the money of costs to the business (transportation, labor, pollution problems, etc… all).

  2. Anonymous Avatar

    Looks like the “Warner-Kaine” Administration really dropped the ball on this one!

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    I regret the loss of jobs. However, Virginia should keep and formalize the “de facto moratorium” on these gigantic hog farms. (And, kudos to North Carolina also.) They are environmental disasters with the immense amounts of waste (to be polite) produced by the farms. There’s no way the waste can be reliably contained and processed; just remember the hurricane in NC a few years ago. This is one industry we can do without.


  4. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    No way to contain or process the waste? Tsk, tsk. Virginians are children of the Enlightenment. Of course there is a way to keep it clean for the environment – even to improve the environment. May cost to much money, but there is certainly a way.

    Sidebar: Old Army saying,” There is no problem that every troubled the mind of man that can not be made to go away with the proper applications of high explosives.”

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    Jerry Kilgore is already on the road talking about the issue of jobs and opportunity. He’s out there talking about recruiting new businesses into the commonwealth… but more than just that. He is talking about ways to retain current businesses!!! The Warner-Kaine administration has failed in that arena! This is another example of their gaffe.

  6. Married Man Avatar
    Married Man

    We’ve got to reward businesses for doing business in Virginia. Kudos to Kilgore for this. Shame on Kaine/Warner for their massive tax increase that hurts business in the Commonwealth.

  7. If there is an shortage of hogs, why is the price so low no one in their right mind would try to raise one?

  8. Anonymous Avatar

    Hey 4:06 anonymous. Don’t know if you got the message on this week’s speaking points memo from Camp Kilgore. They very clearly said not to talk bad about Warner. They said if we talk bad about Warner, people will then associate us with Gilmore and that isn’t a good thing. Just a heads up. Remember, stay on message.

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