Smithfield Closures and USDA Shortage of Technical Service Providers
**A Smithfield Foods employee, who requested anonymity, says the company plans to close 37 sow farms beginning May 1.
Smithfield Foods didn’t confirm the story or offer details regarding the closures when asked for clarification.
In April, Smithfield ownership, China’s WH Group, informed shareholders it was expecting a 56% drop in its first quarter 2023 profit outlook, down from $395 million during the same time last year.
**Legislation introduced in the House and Senate seeks to help address America's shortage of Technical Service Providers at the Department of Agriculture.
Technical Service Providers help producers deploy and manage conservation programs through one-on-one assistance.
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Terry Cosby recently projected his agency would need to hire between 3 and 4,000 employees to meet demand for technical assistance.
**The USDA recently announced the creation of 12 new USDA Regional Food Business Centers, and the National Farmers Union likes the move.
NFU President Rob Larew says, providing local and regional access to processing and distribution is one avenue to fight back against the rampant consolidation in the ag and food sector.
The new Regional Food Centers will provide national coverage coordination, technical assistance, and capacity building.