Mini documentary shows importance of inclusion in ag

· November 18, 2021

Smithfield established a contract grower program to support Black and minority farmers and diversify their hog supply chain. This video highlights the importance of equity and inclusion in American agriculture.

The Martins, who own J & J Martin Farm Produce, are descendants of Harry Martin, a North Carolina man who escaped enslavement and enlisted in the Union Army during the Civil War as a member of the 135th United States Colored Troops. He returned to Wayne County and purchased land in 1883 that he later endowed to his children. His descendant, Larry Martin, has led farm operations for Martin Farms since 1986. In 2011, the family lost their ability to raise hogs after a weather event destroyed their hog barn.

With Smithfield’s new contract grower initiative to promote equity in agriculture, the Martin family has been able to return to their legacy of hog farming and will empower additional minority farmers to enter or re-enter the industry. The program is part of a $15 million Unity & Action commitment Smithfield has made to further diversity, equity and inclusion in food manufacturing, agriculture and education.

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