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Smithfield Foods, Utah pork producers donate 35,000 pounds of protein

Smithfield Foods, Inc., the Utah Pork Producers Association and the Fredette Family Foundation delivered 35,000 pounds of protein, or 140,000 servings, to Utah Food Bank to push the organizations' joint "Points for Protein" campaign over the goal line.

Smithfield and UPPA, in cooperation with the Fredette Family Foundation, committed to donate 50 pounds of protein to Utah Food Bank for each point scored by BYU and Utah State during the 2022-2023 football season. The teams scored a combined 696 points, resulting in a donation of 35,000 pounds of protein. The donated products, which include ham, bacon, lunch meat and hot dogs, will be distributed throughout the state via Utah Food Bank's network of partner agencies such as the Beaver County Food Share.

"Smithfield is committed to fighting food insecurity in our communities, and this donation will go a long way toward helping the food bank serve people who are facing hunger throughout Utah," said Jonathan Toms, senior community development manager for Smithfield Foods. "We're honored to work with these great partners to make this donation a reality, and we'd like to sincerely thank everyone who was a part of our "Points for Protein" campaign this year."

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Inside a free-run aviary system

Video: Inside a free-run aviary system

In Barn #2, another day has started for Kurt and Harley Siemens’ hens. The lights slowly start to come on at 3 a.m., signaling to the hens that it’s time to start waking up. The hens lay their eggs 1-5 hours after they wake up, and each hen lays approximately one egg per day. After the hens lay their eggs, they jump down on the floor and dust bathe in floor litter. When the feeders run, they’ll jump up into the system to eat and drink. The hens eat a blend of corn, soy meal, canola meal and added vitamins – a diet that is monitored and adjusted by a poultry nutritionist regularly. After they eat, they’ll preen and relax.

During the day, the hens are building the yolk and albumen of the egg and at night they’re forming the shell. The egg is ready to lay when the hen wakes up. The hens go into the private nesting area to lay their egg, where it rolls onto a covered conveyor belt and is safely transported to the gathering area. The eggs are gathered starting at 9 a.m. every day. This way, at warmer times of the day the eggs are already gathered and in the cooler.

Harley examines the eggs as they move through the gathering area. He is looking for manure spots on eggs, feathers and cracked eggs. He removes the cracked eggs as they’re not suitable for consumption.

The eggs that you see here and the eggs in your fridge – there is no difference! From the time they’re laid to the time these eggs arrive at the grocery store it’s been just 3-5 days. The eggs go from Kurt and Harley’s farm on a truck to the grading station, where they’re lightly washed with food-grade detergent and sorted for grade and weight. From there, they arrive on your grocery store shelves and you bring them home to feed your family with a nutritious, locally produced and wholesome food from a family farm.