Smithfield Foods announced today that Don Butler, director of government relations and public affairs for Murphy-Brown LLC, has been appointed to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC) for animals and animal products.

The appointment was made by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack. Butler's appointment is effective Oct. 1 and will expire on June 9, 2015.

“It's a great honor to have one of our employees appointed to the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee, and I'm confident that Don will provide ATAC with sound advice based on his many years of experience in our industry," says C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive officer of Smithfield Foods.

Based in Warsaw, NC, Murphy-Brown is Smithfield Foods' managing company for all hog production activities.

ATAC is a private sector body that provides technical advice on agricultural trade issues to the secretary of agriculture and the U.S. trade representative and plays a significant role in shaping agricultural trade policy. ATAC, established in 1974, is jointly administered by the USDA and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

Butler began his career in the pork industry in 1990 with Carroll's Foods, which was acquired by Smithfield Foods in 1999. Butler is a board member and a past president of the National Pork Producers Council as well as a board member and a past president of the North Carolina Pork Council.