Murphy-Brown, the pork production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, and the North Carolina Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance are offering a tool to help U.S. pork producers better protect the environment.

Officials say they are offering producers a free, user-friendly management tool that provides an organized approach to identifying and managing those parts of pork operations that could affect the environment, such as feeding, clean up, manure-treatment systems and spray irrigation.

The free tool is a prototypical environmental management system that can meet pork producers’ specific needs for an environmental action plan. An EMS program consists of policies, procedures and practices that are designed to ensure that high environmental standards are routinely maintained at pork operations.

The EMS template is similar to one that Murphy-Brown developed for all of its U.S. pork production operations. Individual producers who want to incorporate unique characteristics of their own operations can easily customize the tool.

Producers who want assistance in developing their own EMS can download free materials from the Web sites of Smithfield Foods (www.smithfield foods.com), the North Carolina DPPEA (www.p2pays.org) and the North Carolina Pork Council (www.ncpork.com).

The package includes a guidance manual, which explains how to develop an EMS for a typical pork production operation; a copy of an existing EMS in use on a pork operation to provide details on how it functions; and a fill-in-the-blank EMS template that producers can customize to meet their operations’ needs.

For more information about this free tool, contact Don Butler, at Murphy-Brown (910) 293-5328.