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Attorney General Larry Long Schedules Public Forum for November 17


(Pierre) – Attorney General Larry Long will be holding a public forum regarding the purchase of pork production facilities by John Morrell’s parent company, Smithfield Foods. The forum will be held at the Sioux Falls Ramkota Annex on November 17 at 3 p.m. 

Smithfield Foods was recently the successful bidder at the bankruptcy auction of Farmland Industries, on October 12, 2003, with a purchase price of $367.4 million in cash, plus the assumption of certain Farmland liabilities including about $90 million in pension obligations and associated assets of both Farmland Foods and Farmland Industries. Several South Dakotans are bondholders or creditors of Farmland and have concerns regarding the bankruptcy process. Smithfield Foods also recently acquired a pork processing plant in Denison, Iowa, which has raised questions on what effect this may have on the staffing levels or number of hogs butchered at the John Morrell plant. Pork producers have also expresses concern as to whether this acquisition will change pork prices. 

Attorney General Long has asked that Smithfield Foods attend a public forum to help address these concerns. 

If you have any additional questions regarding the public forum please contact Sara Rabern at 605-773-3215.