SMITHFIELD, Va. – Don Butler, director of government relations and public affairs for Murphy-Brown LLC, has been appointed to the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC) for animals and animal products. Butler's appointment, made by Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack, became effective Oct. 1 and will expire on June 9, 2015.

Warsaw, NC-based Murphy-Brown is Smithfield Foods' managing company for all hog production activities.

"It's a great honor to have one of our employees appointed to the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee, and I'm confident that Don will provide ATAC with sound advice based on his many years of experience in our industry," said C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive officer of Smithfield Foods.

ATAC is a private-sector body that provides technical advice on agricultural trade issues to the secretary of agriculture and the US trade representative and plays a significant role in shaping agricultural trade policy. It is jointly administered by the USDA and the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR).

Butler’s pork industry career began in 1990 with Carroll's Foods, which was acquired by Smithfield Foods in 1999. He is a board member and a past president of the National Pork Producers Council as well as a board member and a past president of the North Carolina Pork Council.