Premium Standard Farms announced that it has reached an agreement with Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster that gives the company until July 31, 2012, to complete installation of Next Generation Technology at its farms in northwest Missouri.
The agreement, which has been approved by Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Robert M. Schieber, provides Premium Standard Farms with a two-year extension of the 2004 court-sanctioned consent judgment that had required the company to install Next Generation Technology at several of its farms by July 31, 2010.
Petition for extension
In July Premium Standard Farms petitioned the court for a two-year extension of the deadline, noting that the final technologies–barn scrapers and the Sustainable Technology System (STS) – had only been approved by the court-appointed Management Advisory Team in late April. The company said the delay in receiving approval of the state-of-the-art technology didn't allow enough time to complete the installation at seven remaining farms by the deadline.
Under terms of the agreement reached with the attorney general, Premium Standard Farms will install barn scrapers in at least 136 barns by July 31, 2011 and in 230 barns by Dec. 31, 2011. The company is then scheduled to finish installing barn scraper systems by July 31, 2012 in all 366 barns that had been identified by the Management Advisory Team as requiring barn odor control. Premium Standard Farms recently announced that it had already started the final phase.
"We would like to thank Attorney General Koster for all of his hard work in negotiating this extension, which now allows us to complete our efforts to install cutting-edge environmental technologies on our Missouri farms in a timely manner," said Bill Homann, president of Premium Standard Farms. "This is the culmination of a decade of hard work and diligent research on the part of the state and our employees.
"During the next two years, we will continue to work closely with the state of Missouri as we successfully complete the process we began in 1999 of installing new, advanced technologies to reduce odor and address other environmental issues associated with our operations," Homann said.
Millions spent implementing technology
Premium Standard Farms has already spent about $40 million implementing improved environmental technologies, including lagoon covers and land application technologies, equipment and practices that are among the most advanced in the U.S.
In addition to developing advanced technologies to address lagoon and land application issues, Premium Standard Farms in 1999 also began a 10-year effort to reduce barn odor, which proved to be he most challenging aspect of the entire process. The company researched and field tested at least 13 different technologies to address barn odor, all under the oversight of the independent Management Advisory Team. Ultimately, those research efforts resulted in the recent development of barn scrapers and STS.
Premium Standard Farms, LLC is an independent operating company of Smithfield Foods, Inc. As a member of the Smithfield family of companies, Premium Standard Farms produces pork products for a variety of markets and is a recognized leader in environmental stewardship and technology innovation. Premium Standard Farms, LLC has approximately 1,100 employees working on farms in Missouri.