KANSAS CITY — Farmland Foods, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc., said it will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a special event at its Kansas City headquarters on Oct. 16.

The company entered the pork business 50 years ago with the purchase of a plant in Denison, Iowa, and the launch of the Farmbest label. Subsequently the company added processing facilities in Iowa Falls and Eagle Grove, Iowa; Garden City and Hutchinson, Kas.; Cheraw, Colo.; and swine testing stations in Iowa and Nebraska.

Following financial troubles in 2002, Farmland Foods was acquired by Smithfield Foods. Since that transition in 2003, Farmland has strengthened its brand and commitment to the production of pork products, according to the company. The company now is owned by 1,700 co-operatives representing more than 600,000 agricultural producers.

"It’s really been a remarkable ride," said Jim Sbarro, president and chief executive officer of Farmland Foods. "It started with a pretty simple goal — to bring the best of the heartland’s pork to the rest of the country — and has now become a thriving business that reaches millions of people through our retail and food service products."