Premium Standard Farms

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Premium Standard Farms, Inc
Subsidiary of Smithfield Foods
Founded 1988
Website Premium Standard Farms, Inc

Premium Standard Farms, Inc (PSF), is a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods. PSF was founded in 1988 with the aim of creating a standardized method to produce premium pork. To accomplish this goal, the company decided to pursue full vertical integration—a first for pork producers in the United States. Premium Standard Farms was the second largest pork producer and the sixth largest processor in the United States until acquired by Smithfield Foods in 2007.

The company is headquartered in Princeton, Missouri, with a major office in Dalhart, Texas.


The livestock production segment of Premium Standard Farms involves operations in Missouri and Texas, located on approximately 100,000 acres (400 km2). Its herd size of 221,000 sows can produce about 4.5 million pigs per year; the second largest producer of porcine livestock in the United States.

The North Carolina farms were shifted from PSF to Murphy-Brown after the 2007 Smithfield acquisition.

Missouri production operations[edit]

Headquarters in Princeton

Based in Princeton, the Missouri production operations employ about 1,250 people across northern Missouri. The company has 63 sow farms and nine grow/finish farms that span Mercer, Putnam, Sullivan, Daviess and Gentry counties. Additionally, local farmers operate finishing farms under contract with PSF. The operations in Missouri account for the bulk of the company's herd with about 108,000 sows in production. PSF's farms in Missouri include the birthplace of Calamity Jane northeast of Princeton.

In 2006, six plaintiffs were awarded $4.6 million for a hog odor complaint regarding one of PSF's Missouri farms. The settlement was the largest in a hog farm odor issue. It was filed in 1999.

On March 3, 2010, a Jackson County, Missouri, jury awarded seven neighboring farmers $11 million in damages for odors emanating from a 4,300 acre (1,700 ha) finishing hog farm near Berlin in Gentry County, Missouri, where an estimated 200,000 hogs were processed annually. PSF later appealed the verdict. However, on March 29, 2011 the Missouri Court of Appeals denied PSF's claim and upheld the original verdict. That verdict was the largest known of its kind nationwide against a factory hog operator.[1]

Following the suit, Missouri-based Premium said it was reconsidering whether it would stay in the state.

Texas production operations[edit]

Based in Dalhart, the Texas production operations employ about 300 people in the extreme northwest region of Texas. A sow herd of about 33,000 are produced in Dallam and Hartley counties. Production takes place on a 40,000 acres (160 km2) farm named High Plains Ranch. Additionally, the company purchased the 14,500 acres (59 km2) Perico Farm from National Hog Farms in 1994.


Prior to May 2007, Premium Standard Farms consisted of two processing facilities - one in Milan, Missouri, and the other in Clinton, North Carolina. Both facilities use similar methodologies and process over 4.6 million hogs per year. Smithfield transferred both facilities to other subsidiaries after the acquisition.

The Missouri plant was built in September 1994 and was the first facility in the United States to use a CO2 anesthetizing system. More than 950 employees in this 300,000 square foot (28,000 m²) facility process over 7,000 pigs per day[citation needed]. The Milan plant produces fresh and frozen pork products for domestic retailers, further processors, food service providers and export customers to more than 20 countries. After the Smithfield acquisition, the Missouri plant became a member of Farmland Foods.

The North Carolina plant was purchased by PSF (and parent company Contigroup) from The Lundy Packing Group in August 2000. After re-tooling, the facility operates with approximately 1,200 people and processes over 9,000 pigs per day. This 800,000 square foot (74,000 m²) facility produces fresh and frozen pork products to domestic and export customers. Additionally, the Clinton plant specializes in producing further processed pork and other ready-to-eat products such as ham and bacon products. After the Smithfield acquisition, the North Carolina plant became a member of Smithfield Packing.


Prior to 2007, brands included Premium Farms, Fresh & Tender, Fresh & Natural, and Premium 97 Heart Healthy. Between 5 and 10% of PSF’s pork product was exported to over 20 countries including Japan, China, Singapore, Mexico, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan. Premium Standard Farms currently supports the Smithfield Foods brands.

Smithfield Foods acquires Premium Standard Farms[edit]

On September 18, 2006, Smithfield Foods announced that it would acquire Premium Standard Farms in a cash and stock deal that would total $810 million including the assumption of about $117 million in debt. The sale of PSF’s open stock still requires approval from the SEC as well as shareholder approval. Smithfield hoped to close the deal by the end of the first quarter in calendar year 2007.

ContiGroup Companies Inc supported the cash and stock buyout and voted its 38.8 percent stake in PSF in favor of the deal.

In May 2007, Smithfield completed the acquisition of Premium Standard Farms, converting shares into Smithfield stock at a rate of 0.678 Smithfield shares plus $1.25 in cash per PSF share.[citation needed]


  • 1988 - Premium Standard Farms founded
  • 1989 December - First litter of seven gilts and four barrows born on Wiles farm
  • 1994 June - PSF acquired National Hog Farms of Texas
  • 1994 September - Construction of first processing plant in Milan, Missouri, complete
  • 1994 September - 80,000 sow units completed in Missouri
  • 1996 - Company emerged from restructuring after market volatility
  • 1998 May - PSF merged with ContiGroup’s north Missouri swine operation which added 25,000 sows to the company’s herd.
  • 1998 December - PSF is the first pork producer to earn Process Verified accreditation from the United States Department of Agriculture
  • 2000 August - PSF purchases the Lundy Packing Company and ContiGroup’s Carolina Farms
  • 2003 April – PSF and Johnsonville Sausage form Oldham LLC, a joint venture to produce sausage products
  • 2005 August - Initial public offering, NASDAQ: PORK
  • 2007 May – Smithfield completes Premium Standard Farms acquisition
  • 2010 March – Missouri jury awards neighbors for damages from the odor of the Gentry County farm—the largest such award in such cases. Premium says it will appeal. On March 3, 2010, a Jackson County, Missouri, jury awarded seven neighboring farmers $11 million in damages for odors emanating from a 4,300 acre 80-acre (320,000 m2) finishing farm near Berlin in Gentry County, Missouri where an estimated 200,000 hogs a year. In 2006, six plaintiffs were awarded $4.6 million. The settlement was the largest in a hog farm odor issue. It was filed in 1999.[2]


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