Don Butler, a longtime Smithfield Foods executive who retired at the end of last year, played an integral role in the North Carolina pork industry for the past 26 years. He is a past president of the National Pork Producers Council and the NC Pork Council and past chairman of the Animal Agriculture Alliance. He also served in the board of directors of NC Farm Families.

Butler started his career in the pork industry with Carroll’s in 1981 before joining Smithfield Foods. There, he had the opportunity to work alongside Lois Britt. This award in her honor recognizes individuals for whom service to the pork industry and North Carolina agriculture is a passion.

“It’s humbling to be considered for such an award. I respected Lois greatly and am honored to receive this award,” said Butler, who owns and operates a 7,000 head wean to feeder pig operation in Bladen County.

During his career, Butler developed and implemented the world’s first Environmental Management System for a livestock operation. All of Smithfield’s farms and processing facilities worldwide are now ISO certified, considered to be the international gold standard for environmental management.

He served as both a past president of the National Pork Producers Council and of the North Carolina Pork Council. He served also as chairman of the Animal Agriculture Alliance and on the board of directors of N.C. Farm Families.

Outside of the pork industry, he serves on the board of the Sylvan Heights Bird Park and he breeds exotic endangered birds so that future generations can enjoy these magnificent birds.

But it is for his tireless, unwavering and steadfast support of the pork industry that Don Butler is recognized as a recipient this year of the Lois G. Britt Service Award.