SMITHFIELD, Va. – Smithfield Foods, Inc. announced today that its board of directors has elected two new members, Richard T. Crowder, Professor of International Trade at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and Margaret G. Lewis, President of HCA's Capital Division. The changes are effective immediately.

In addition, Gaoning Ning has resigned as a member of the company's board of directors, effective March 2. Ning resigned as director citing an increasing number of other conflicting business and public commitments. Ning is the chairman of COFCO Limited, China's largest national agricultural trading and processing company.

From January 2006 until May 2007, Crowder served as chief agriculture negotiator at the Office of the US Trade Representative, responsible for directing all US agricultural trade negotiations worldwide, including multilateral negotiations in the World Trade Organization, as well as regional and bilateral negotiations. He also served as a senior advisor to the US Trade Representative from May 2007 until April 2008.

Lewis began her career with HCA in 1978 and held several positions in nursing management and quality management before becoming Chief Nursing Officer of HCA's Richmond Division in 1997. Lewis became Chief Operating Officer of CJW Medical Center in 1998 and Chief Executive Officer in 2001. She is a registered nurse and a diplomat of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

"I am confident that Smithfield will benefit from the vast experience and valuable insights of these two established leaders, as we continue to grow this company," said C. Larry Pope, president and CEO.

"We would like to thank Mr. Ning for his service as a board member for the past two and a half years and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors," Pope said. "As the leading consumer of pork, China remains an important export market for Smithfield and we look forward to continuing to foster our relationship with COFCO. We maintain a positive outlook for US pork exports and foresee many future business opportunities for Smithfield and China," he commented.