SMITHFIELD, Va., Oct. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Smithfield Foods, Inc. is proud to announce Steve Evans, the company's director of community development, has been named to Forbes' inaugural For(bes) The Culture 50 Black and Brown Champions list recognizing influential leaders who are making an impact in their communities by investing in the success of others.
Evans leads Smithfield's community development initiatives with a focus on the state of North Carolina, home to the company's largest operational footprint and nearly a quarter of its U.S. employees. In addition to playing an integral role in spearheading initiatives that advocate for minority farmers and the underserved in rural communities, Steve was instrumental in the development of Smithfield's platform to promote diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) across its business.
The first ever For(bes) The Culture 50 Champions list celebrates models of business excellence across various industries who also uplift Black and Brown communities through their crafts and philanthropic efforts.
"I'm humbled to be named among such incredible influencers spanning so many U.S. industries," said Evans. "Smithfield has provided me with a platform to support minority farmers who are working to feed people in communities across our nation and the globe. This work is deeply personal for me; both my grandfathers were farmers and as a Black man, I'm proud of our ancestral connection to – and expert stewardship of – the land. It's my honor and privilege to forge access for others who grew up in underserved, rural communities and help them reclaim their place in the agricultural industry."
Last year Evans facilitated dozens of partnerships across North Carolina and beyond on behalf of the company to support access to education and feed thousands of first responders and front-line workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of his community outreach, Smithfield pledged $5 million through 2022 to fund grassroots programs promoting DEI, including an initiative to provide thousands of students in rural N.C. with wireless hotspots and address long-term internet access solutions for underserved communities; an investment to create a diverse pipeline of K-12 students interested in food, agriculture and natural resource careers; and a grant to empower young minority women to lead in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields, business and entrepreneurship.
Forbes has recognized Evans among prominent American figures including Dwyane Wade, Issa Rae and Colin Kaepernick.
DEI is a standalone pillar of Smithfield's leading sustainability program. To learn more about the company's commitment to developing a work environment that works for everyone, visit this link.
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 63,000 team members are dedicated to producing "Good food. Responsibly.®" and have made Smithfield one of the world's leading vertically integrated protein companies. We have pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including our industry-leading commitments to become carbon negative in U.S. company-owned operations and reduce GHG emissions 30 percent across our entire U.S. value chain by 2030. We believe in the power of protein to end food insecurity and have donated hundreds of millions of food servings to our communities. 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.
SOURCE Smithfield Foods, Inc.