SMITHFIELD, Va. — This summer, Farmland® launched year two of its Honoring the Heartland Tour to invest in the next generation of the agricultural industry, show appreciation to hardworking farming communities, and support neighborhoods rooted in the Midwest through protein-rich food donations. Earlier today, the tour stopped in Omaha to recognize two admirable Nebraska organizations.
During a presentation at Food Bank for the Heartland, Farmland made a $9,000 donation to the Nebraska FFA Association to support its mission and fund community service projects. With so many Nebraskans directly employed in agriculture, institutions like this are vital in creating the next generation of leaders and ensuring a positive future for the category.
“Young people are one of our greatest assets when it comes to the future of agriculture and localized farming in America’s heartland,” said Jessica Scarlett, senior associate brand manager for Farmland at Smithfield Foods. “Farmland is pleased to share this donation with the Nebraska FFA Association to support students in their endeavors as they strive to make a positive impact within their communities.”
“We are so grateful for the support of Farmland. Their donation to the Nebraska FFA Foundation will help students learn to be successful leaders and community members,” said Stacey Agnew, executive director for the Nebraska FFA Foundation. “With one in four jobs in Nebraska related to agriculture, this helps set our students up with the knowledge, skills, and interest needed to have a successful career in agriculture, food, and natural resources. Partners like Farmland are essential as we invest in over 12,000 FFA members and their advisors, to grow leaders, build communities and create career connections.”
In addition, Farmland is simultaneously working to keep Midwest neighborhoods strong by alleviating hunger. In its efforts, the brand teamed up with the National Pork Board, Nebraska Pork Producers Association, and country superstar Luke Bryan’s Farm Tour to help fight food insecurity with a contribution of nearly 30,000 pounds of protein to Food Bank for the Heartland. With six Farm Tour stops across the Midwest this September (including a stop in Murdock, Nebraska), Farmland and the National Pork Board will be donating truckloads of protein to local food banks in Nebraska, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, and Minnesota, totaling an estimated one million servings of protein.
Food Bank for the Heartland reported that the organization has never experienced such a sustained hunger crisis in its 40-year history due to the implications of inflation. The effects have caused significant cost spikes across all aspects of operation, including sourcing, purchasing, storing, and distributing food. Concurrently, Food Bank for the Heartland has seen significant increases in the number of households served across their service area – eclipsing those seen during the height of the pandemic. And with food prices rising, especially for meat, fish and poultry, the crisis has forced Heartland families to make impossible decisions between paying for groceries and other necessities like rent and medication.
To further say thanks to those making an impact locally during these challenging past years and beyond, Farmland’s food truck provided meals to Food Bank employees and volunteers at the event.
“We are tremendously grateful to the teams at Farmland, National Pork Board, Nebraska Pork Producers Association, and Luke Bryan’s Farm Tour for their continued support of our mission at the Food Bank,” said Brian Barks, President and CEO at Food Bank for the Heartland. “This donation could not come at a better time, as protein-rich foods play an important role in our fight against hunger and inflation has made protein less accessible to families and individuals. This generous donation will help us provide critical nutrition to more neighbors in need, allowing them to focus, work, live, and thrive. We are also thankful for Farmland for bringing their food truck to our facility to feed our hard-working staff.”
“The current economic climate has left many families in survival mode as high inflation is forcing many to grapple with rising food costs,” said Jonathan Toms, senior community affairs manager for Smithfield Foods. “We’re grateful to be able to provide high-quality protein – one of the most valuable resources food banks distribute – to Food Bank for the Heartland, so we can assist in their mission to fight food insecurity across the Midwest during this very challenging time.”
“Caring for our communities is at the heart of what pig farmers do every day, which is why we are excited to give back at this scale with the support of Farmland and Luke Bryan,” said Russ Vering, Nebraska pig farmer and representative for Nebraska Pork Producers Association. “The state’s 1,230 pig farmers take pride in helping nourish families and communities by raising nutritious food, providing 17,866 jobs and contributing $1.66 billion in economic value to Nebraska.”
For more information and to see where the Farmland Honoring the Heartland Tour goes next, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter @FarmlandFoods and visit www.farmlandfoods.com.
Founded in 1959, Farmland is the maker of high-quality, flavorful meats. Rooted in rich traditions of America’s heartland, Farmland is committed to a strong work ethic, community, substance over flash, and wholesome, quality food that people feel good about serving. Farmland’s robust portfolio of products includes varieties of bacon, sausage, ham, and lunch meat. For more information about our products and recipe inspiration, please visit www.FarmlandFoods.com or follow us on Facebook (@FarmlandFoods), Instagram (@farmlandfoods) or Twitter (@FarmlandFoods). Farmland is a brand of Smithfield Foods.
About Smithfield Foods, Inc.
Headquartered in Smithfield, Va. since 1936, Smithfield Foods, Inc. is an American food company with agricultural roots and a global reach. Our 63,000 team members are dedicated to producing “Good food. Responsibly.®” and have made us one of the world’s leading vertically integrated protein companies. We have pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including our industry-leading commitments to become carbon negative in U.S. company-owned operations and reduce GHG emissions 30 percent across our entire U.S. value chain by 2030. We believe in the power of protein to end food insecurity and have donated hundreds of millions of food servings to our communities. Smithfield boasts a portfolio of high-quality iconic brands, such as Smithfield®, Eckrich® and Nathan’s Famous®, among many others. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
About Nebraska FFA Foundation
The Nebraska FFA Foundation invests in agricultural education and FFA for over 10,000 FFA members and their advisors in Nebraska by growing leaders, building communities, and strengthening agriculture. For more information, visit neffafoundation.org.
About Food Bank for the Heartland
Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, Food Bank for the Heartland—a member of Feeding America—is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a vital focus: to provide nourishment to Heartland neighbors facing food insecurity with respect, integrity, and urgency. Food Bank for the Heartland works with nearly 550 network partners in 93 counties across Nebraska and western Iowa offering multiple hunger-relief and nutrition programs. The Food Bank is currently providing, on average, more than 2.2 million meals each month. For more information, visit FoodBankHeartland.org.
About Luke Bryan
Since his debut, Bryan has garnered 29 No. 1 hits and has more RIAA certified digital singles than any other Country artist with 68.5 million. His worldwide global streams are over 18.9 billion and he has sold nearly 13 million albums. His headline concert tours have played sold-out shows for 12 million fans inclusive of 36 stadium concerts, Farm Tours, Spring Break shows, and seven sold-out ‘Crash My Playa’ destination concert events. The Georgia native is currently headlining his “Raised Up Right Tour.” Bryan has won over 50 major music awards including five wins as Entertainer of the Year. His third and most recent Entertainer win was awarded by the Academy of Country Music in 2021. Additional awards include six recognitions as a CMT Artist of the Year, NSAI Artist/Songwriter of the Year, the first-ever recipient of the ACM Album of the Decade Award for Crash My Party, seven CMT Music Awards, five Billboard Music Awards, and four American Music Awards—as well as being named Billboard’s Top Country Artist of the 2010s, the Most Heard Artist of the Decade by Country Aircheck, and the Artist Humanitarian Recipient by the Country Radio Broadcasters last year. On Nov.9, Luke and NFL superstar Peyton Manning will host “The 56th Annual CMA Awards” live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena 8:00-11:00 PM/EST on ABC. In 2023, Luke, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie are back for their sixth season as celebrity judges on ABC’s American Idol. LukeBryan.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Tik Tok.
About Nebraska Pork Producers Association
The Nebraska Pork Producers Association is a grassroot, incorporated, nonprofit organization established in 1961. NPPA was developed to promote the pork industry through the enhancement of consumer demand, producer education and research, funded by producer checkoff dollars. For more information, visit NPPA’s website at www.NEpork.org.