Smithfield Foods Announces $500,000 Grant to Support Education Pipeline for Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences
SMITHFIELD, Va., November 17, 2020 /3BL Media/ -- Smithfield Foods, Inc. announced today that it has committed $500,000 to a two-year partnership with Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS), a non-profit organization that pursues excellence in leadership, scholarship and service through fostering involvement of membership from diverse backgrounds in the field of agriculture.
The first objective of Smithfield's investment is to create a diverse K-12 student pipeline interested in food, agriculture and natural resource careers. To help this next generation of leaders achieve future success, Smithfield and MANRRS have created the Smithfield Jr. MANRRS Scholars Program to expose minority students to STEM-related disciplines through a series of educational programs and curricula aimed at expanding their agricultural acumen.
"Smithfield Foods is honored to be part of the ongoing effort to engage historically underrepresented students in the future of our industry," said Steve Evans, a director of community development at Smithfield Foods. "By investing in these initiatives, we will provide the agricultural sector with broader perspectives and backgrounds. The innovative programs outlined by MANRRS will assist us in increasing our capacity to attract top-tier talent and continue to feed the world."
In addition, Smithfield's contribution will support Historically Black Colleges and Universities, strengthening student candidates for industry leadership roles. Through the new Smithfield Foods 1890 Leadership program, named after the 1890 Land-Grant Institutions, high school seniors will receive a $5,000 scholarship to attend a HBCU of their choice and participate in their local collegiate MANRRS chapter. The initiative will also include summer stipends for underclass students to take part in research and immersion programs as well as a nationwide eMentoring program.
"This initiative will nurture a generation of diverse agricultural leaders and lay the groundwork for strengthening the relationships between the industry and these institutions," added Ebony Webber, chief operating officer of MANRRS. "We're grateful for our partnership with Smithfield Foods, a leader in its industry who understands the importance of amplifying our students' voices."
For more information about how to apply to upcoming MANRRS initiatives, visit: http://www.manrrs.org/.
To learn more about Smithfield's educational initiatives and commitment to their communities, visit https://www.smithfieldfoods.com/sustainability/helping-communities.
About Smithfield Foods, Inc.
Headquartered in Smithfield, Va. since 1936, Smithfield Foods, Inc. is an American food company with agricultural roots and a global reach. Our 40,000 U.S. and 15,000 European employees are dedicated to producing "Good food. Responsibly.®" and have made us one of the world's leading vertically integrated protein companies. We have pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including many industry firsts, such as our ambitious commitment to cut our carbon impact by 25 percent by 2025. We believe in the power of protein to end food insecurity and have donated hundreds of millions of food servings to our neighbors in need. Smithfield boasts a portfolio of high-quality iconic brands, such as Smithfield®, Eckrich® and Nathan's Famous®, among many others. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
About Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Science (MANRRS)
MANRRS promotes academic and professional advancement by empowering minorities in agriculture, natural resources and related sciences.
It is our goal to provide the student members (junior high school through doctoral programs) of our organization with the support to become productive citizens by engaging them in leadership development activities, educational opportunities, job readiness training, and facilitating internship placement and permanent employment, with special emphasis on agriculture, natural resources, and related sciences.
MANRRS encourages and promotes Agriculture, Natural Resources, and related STEM programs in an effort to interest and attract underrepresented students and professionals into pursuing educational and career opportunities in these respective areas.