Settlement with Smithfield Foods funds projects over the next 10 years.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has announced that $1 million in grants over the next 10 years are available for projects that advance and enhance pork production in Iowa.

The grants, $100,000/year for 10 years, are being provided by Smithfield Foods, Inc.

With the announcement, Miller released a “Request for Applications” (RFA), which will be used to identify and support innovative projects that are eligible for the grants.

The RFA is the result of an agreement reached in 2005 between the Iowa attorney general's office and Smithfield Foods, Inc., Murphy Farms, LLC, and Prestage-Stoecker Farms, Inc. The agreement calls for Smithfield to fund grants for projects that benefit the Iowa pork industry.

“This grant program is part of a landmark settlement under which Smithfield made substantial financial commitments to Iowa's pork industry and agreed to provide their contract producers with a ‘contractor growers’ bill of rights,” explains Miller.

Smithfield also agreed to pay $1 million to Iowa State University (ISU) for a 10-year environmental training program, and $240,000 over a four-year period to fund Smithfield-Luter scholarships at ISU.

The RFA program calls for projects that address environmental issues, improve profitability, focus on contract feeding, assist independent producers and improve price discovery and availability of market information.

Deadline for the first round of proposals is Dec. 1, 2006. Grant application information can be found at www.iowaattorneygeneral.org, by e-mailing the Farm Division of the attorney general's office at FARM@ag.state.ia.us or by calling (515) 281-5351.