Smithfield Foods hosts “Pig Party” for Duplin Co. students


DUPLIN COUNTY, N.C. (WNCT)–Nearly 1,000 Duplin County students attended a two-day “Pig Party” hosted by Smithfield Foods this week.

It’s part of the “Producers, Pigs and Pork” curriculum throughout fourth-grade classrooms in the county.

Duplin County is the largest swine producer in the world and the event gave students an opportunity to learn where their food comes from.

“I think it’s really nice to learn about pigs because you eat them all the time and when you think about it, it’s actually a big part of your life,” fourth-grader Madelyn Sawyer said.

This hands-on education in agriculture is part of a system-wide curriculum that starts as early as Pre-K and prepares students for a career in agriculture and STEM-related fields.

“It’s great to educate our young people on exactly what it takes to raise their food and where their food comes from in today’s world,” Neill Westerbeek, Smithfield Hog Production, said. “We try to make sure we give them the true story of where their food comes from and how pork specifically is produced.”

Students toured 11 different stations covering all areas of production from the feed, to raising the hogs, biosecurity and the cuts of meat. Students also enjoyed a short skit by employees about the process of raising hogs set to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell”. This is the first year of the event.

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