Joseph W. Luter, III, chairman of Smithfield Foods, Inc., was honored today by the American Meat Institute (AMI) with its highest award: the Industry Advancement Award. The award was presented during AMI’s International Meat, Poultry & Seafood Convention & Exposition, October 24-27, 2007, in Chicago, Ill.
Luter is the third generation of his
family to run the business created by his
grandfather in 1936. Named president in 1966,
he left the company when it was acquired in
1969. During the five years that Joe Luter was
out of the meat industry he developed Bryce
Mountain Resort, a four season resort community
in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
After six years of operating without
him, the new owners asked Luter to return in
1975 to help turn the distressed company
around, in what AMI and CEO President J.
Patrick Boyle noted as “a very…very good
“With Joe’s charismatic
determination, he remade his family country ham
business into the global company that it is
today,” Boyle said.
In the last ten years Smithfield has
aggressively moved internationally with
operations in Mexico, France, Belgium, the
Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Poland,
Romania, the UK and China.
Luter was the industry’s earliest
embracer of vertical integration — a strategy
that has proven successful for Smithfield and
has been emulated by increasing numbers of pork
packers. “His ability to acquire and turn
around failing businesses has helped enhance
United States competitiveness,” noted Boyle.
In addition, he has an unwavering
commitment to those who have helped his company
achieve success. Luter personally funded a $5
million start-up grant to launch the
Smithfield-Luter Foundation. Through this
foundation he has helped fund countless college
scholarships for the children of Smithfield
“Joe Luter embodies everything this
award is meant to be about; he is pioneer, a
leader and great contributor at all levels of
our industry,” Boyle said.
The American Meat Institute was founded
in 1906 and is the nation's oldest and largest
meat and poultry trade association. It
represents the interests of packers,
processors, and suppliers of beef, pork, lamb,
veal, and turkey products in North America.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the
Institute provides regulatory, legislative,
technical, scientific, educational, and public
relations services to the industry.
AMI Honors Joseph W. Luter, III, Chairman of Smithfield Foods, Inc., With Industry Advancement AwardFriday, October 26, 2007
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