Smithfield Foods Inc. donated $120,000 to support the 2019 National Conservation Foundation (NCF) Envirothon.
NCF Envirothon is North America’s largest environmental education program and international competition. It brings together teams from across the U.S., Canada and China to compete for recognition and scholarships.
Smithfield’s support of the program includes a $60,000 donation benefitting competitions at the local and regional levels, $35,000 in Smithfield-sponsored scholarships awarded to the top three championship teams, and $25,000 presented to the North Carolina Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts for its role as the host of the 2019 championship competition.
“Smithfield has offered strong support for the NCF-Envirothon and local event competitions over the last five years, providing students with quality experiences and a better understanding of sustainable practices,” said Tim Reich, vice chair of the NCF Board of Trustees. “Smithfield’s continuous push toward environmental sustainability also provides a real-world example of companies impacting change. The National Conservation Foundation commends Smithfield for their leadership and generous support of our cause year after year.”
More than 50,000 high school students compete in teams through hands-on and in-class activities to demonstrate their knowledge of soils and land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife and current environmental issues during regional and statewide competitions leading into the international event.
Winning teams will progress to the 2019 Envirothon Championship, which will take place July 28 through August 2 on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina.
“We are thrilled to support Envirothon’s mission to encourage environmental stewardship as it aligns with Smithfield’s ever-important commitments to sustainability and support of community vitality,” said Stewart Leeth, vice president of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. “At Smithfield, we know this next generation of leaders will one day play a meaningful role in creating a more sustainable tomorrow and we are eager to support them.”
In addition to financial support from the company, Smithfield employees donate their time and expertise to the program. During the regional, statewide and international competitions throughout the year, Smithfield employees serve as volunteer advisors to lead training sessions, facilitate program curriculum and coordinate activities.
Smithfield’s sustainability strategy is focused on pillars that represent its key areas of sustainability focus: animal care, environment, food safety and quality, helping communities, and people. The company actively supports NCF and its efforts to advance environmental education, aligning with both Smithfield’s environmental initiatives and its commitment to support the vitality of local communities through education.