For more than two centuries, the colonial town of Smithfield, Virginia, founded in 1752, has been shipping the finest hams to satisfied customers around the world. Today, thanks to the vision of a Virginia family and its patriarch, Joseph Luter, that tradition not only continues but has grown into something of a legend.
In 1936 Joseph W. Luter & Joseph W. Luter, Jr. founded the Smithfield Packing Company along a tributary of the historic James River. Over sixty years later, the "Genuine Smithfield Ham" that brought them worldwide acclaim is still produced only here in Smithfield. And thanks to a new generation of Luters, Joseph III and Joseph IV, Smithfield boasts a line of quality meats so vast, it's helped make the parent company, Smithfield Foods (NYSE: SFD), the world's largest producer of pork products.
Genuine Smithfield Hams have crowned America's table for generations. They are as distinctive as they are delicious, as elegant as they are hearty. They are the flavor of Southern Hospitality.
The Luter family of Smithfield, Virginia, has been curing and selling hams since the turn of the century. Joseph W. Luter, Sr.'s first job was at a local meat packing plant. His young son, Joseph W. Luter, Jr., followed in his father's footsteps, learning every phase of the meat packing industry. And eventually persuading him to start their own business - Smithfield Packing Company was chartered in 1936.
In 1962, with Smithfield already on its way to becoming the "Ham Capital of the World", Joseph W. Luter III took the reins. Expanding the plant's facilities and product line became the key to a growth cycle that promoted Smithfield Packing Company from a family business into a large, investor-owned and publicly traded company. Today the company retains its family heritage and has become a worldwide marketer of pork products, Smithfield Food's largest subsidiary and one of America's largest meat companies.