Smithfield Foods has partnered with Roeslein Alternative Energy (RAE) to establish a joint venture called Monarch Bioenergy to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) across Smithfield’s hog farms in Missouri.


Image: Smithfield processing plant in Smithfield, Virginia. Photo courtesy of Nyttend/

The new joint venture Monarch Bioenergy is intended to convert manure collected from Smithfield farms into RNG, while offering ecological services and development of wildlife habitat.

Monarch Bioenergy has been formed following the successful first phase of RAE’s innovative manure-to-energy project across nine Smithfield farms in northern Missouri.

The joint venture will install and make use of Smithfield’s infrastructure in Missouri farms to capture methane emissions from hog farms and convert them into pipeline-quality natural gas, which will be distributed to RNG markets across the county.

Smithfield Foods president and chief executive officer Kenneth M. Sullivan said: “This joint venture represents our continued commitment to doing business in a way that is good for our planet and its people. This innovative collaboration creates value for our company and our partners, and benefits the environment as we work to feed the world’s growing population.”

Smithfield said that the biogas generated by the new joint venture is planned to transport through a gas gathering network and purified it in a centrally located gas cleaning system, which is designed and installed by RAE.

Once complete, all Smithfield company-owned finishing farms in Missouri will be capable of producing approximately 1.3million dekatherms of RNG annually, equivalent to eliminating 130,000 gasoline vehicles.

RAE president Rudi Roeslein said: “From their leadership in creating renewable energy and in conservation, Smithfield is changing what it means to be a food company. Smithfield’s willingness to embrace the power of prairie proves the industry can play a meaningful role in seizing the economic benefits of conservation.”

“We are extremely grateful that Smithfield is committed to this vision. It begins with converting methane from hog manure to renewable natural gas. But that’s the tip of the iceberg. We hope to show the agriculture community, with the help of our joint venture partner Smithfield, how to take all these steps and make an enormous impact for energy, the environment, and wildlife.”

Monarch Bioenergy is also part of Smithfield Renewables, which is the company’s platform to speed up its carbon reduction and renewable energy efforts.