Letter – Foods needs the Grange

Published 4:51 pm Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

Smithfield Foods supports the Grange at 10Main development because it will enhance our recruitment efforts, provide more lodging, dining and other options for the many employees and vendors who visit our corporate campus and encourage employees to spend more time in our community. 

When I started working at Foods almost 30 years ago, most of our employees lived in Smithfield. Today, that is a small percentage.

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Over the years, I have watched the town grow while maintaining its charm. It is understandable that change like this does not come easy, but that is the nature of progress. When Smithfield Foods was acquired in 2013, it caused much angst in the town. More than 10 years later, I hope all would agree that little has changed in terms of our place in and commitment to this community. We have increased jobs in the area and always strive to be a good corporate citizen.

Due to a decision now faced by the Town of Smithfield – whether to approve the Grange at 10Main – we again face concern and uncertainty. We get it. This town is special. Its beauty, character and the small-town lifestyle our community offers are hard to find. We want to preserve these qualities. 

We also want Smithfield Foods to thrive. The ability to attract talent to our corporate headquarters is a big challenge for our continued growth. The Grange at 10Main offers new housing and numerous amenities that appeal directly to prospective and existing employees.

We appreciate the legitimate concerns of some Smithfield residents, including the potential for

increased traffic. Smithfield Foods will do its part by encouraging employee commuting patterns that minimize congestion through town. 

When it comes to the preservation of the town’s character, the Luters have a well-established track record of thoughtfully investing in our community. The long list of Luter family contributions to this town, including our campus on the Pagan, have only enhanced life in Smithfield. Like us, the Luter family loves this town and understands its essence. I am confident that will

not be compromised. They have earned our trust and deserve this opportunity.

Smithfield Foods wholeheartedly supports this pivotal project. With the town’s approval of the Grange at 10Main, I have no doubt that we will look back with pride on the many ways it has made our town an even more wonderful place to live and work.


Keller Watts

Chief Business Officer

Smithfield Foods