SMITHFIELD, Va. – Smithfield Foods recently expanded its grain purchasing and handling operations by acquiring feed grain facilities in Harpster and Morral, Ohio.

The company said that grain from the Harpster buying station will feed hogs throughout Smithfield’s Eastern Hog Production Division. Soybeans from the Morral buying station will be loaded on location and transported to customers around the world.

The Harpster and Morral grain buying stations will be part of Smithfield’s existing fertilizer optimization program known as SmithfieldGro, a collaborative project between Smithfield and the Environmental Defense Fund. The program provides agronomy resources and tools to help farmers optimize fertilizer application and improve soil health. The program’s expansion supports Smithfield goal of reaching its target of sourcing 75 percent of feed grain from sustainable origins by 2018.

“We’re now able to help feed nine million of our hogs in North Carolina with grain we source directly from Ohio farmers," Robbie Montgomery, Grain Origination Manager for Smithfield Grain, said in a news release. “With this purchase, we will have the opportunity to make positive impacts to our product quality as well as our environmental footprint by collaborating directly with more farmers.”