Smithfield Foods Continues Expansion of Kinston Plant

Smithfield Foods Inc. is continuing its expansion of a pork processing facility in Kinston, N.C., committing to expand that current plant this year in a project that will include $16 million in personal property and equipment.

The company — now a division of China’s WH Group — opened the state-of-the-art facility in 2006 and launched an expansion project in 2011 at a cost of at least $85.5 million. The complete expansion program is expected to create a total of 330 jobs to the Lenoir County area when completed this year.

House Successfully Votes on Farm Bill

The U.S. House finally ended its long fight over a farm bill – passing with a large bipartisan majority of 251 to 166 – a House-Senate compromise – expected to pass in the Senate next week and be signed by the President. Four-years of work and at least two-years of fighting over a five-year farm bill concluded in the U.S. House – though disputes over food stamps, payment caps, dairy policy, meat labeling and more will likely continue when the Senate takes up the final bill next week.

House Ag Chair and Chief Negotiator Frank Lucas appealed to conservatives and liberals to keep the farm in the farm bill…

“No matter how much money we spend on supplemental programs to make sure our fellow citizens have enough to eat; never forget that if there is not a product on the shelf it doesn’t matter how much you subsidize.”

Lucas and Top House Ag Democrat Collin Peterson stressed the farm bill was a compromise…

“I didn’t get everything I wanted. That’s how the compromise works.  There has been a lot of discussion about dairy and we are moving away from the old program to a new program.”

Peterson was forced by Speaker John Boehner to drop government-mandated milk supply controls to counter possible oversupply from a voluntary new margin insurance program. Meat packers, and  cattle and hog producers lost a battle to water down Country-of-Origin-Labeling – still challenged in the WTO'

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.