Manure-to-Energy Projects Thrive in Missouri

Smithfield increases manure to biogas projects, finding synergy with environmental sustainability goals. ( Smithfield )

With a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2025, Smithfield Foods, Inc. is extending its partnership with Roeslein Alternative Energy (RAE) by investing an additional $45 million in their Monarch Bioenergy joint venture. 

This project captures methane from hog manure to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) in Missouri. The additional investment will help continue implementation of “manure-to-energy” projects on Smithfield’s farms, resulting in RNG generation across 85% of the company’s hog finishing spaces in the state, according to a company release.

Currently, Smithfield has “manure-to-energy” projects in operation across five Smithfield farms in northern Missouri. This additional investment puts the company one step closer to equipping nearly all its finishing spaces in the state with the technology to produce RNG, the release said. 

Allowing Monarch Bioenergy to leverage the infrastructure of Smithfield’s farms to capture methane emissions from hog farms and convert them into pipeline-quality natural gas is just one way Smithfield Farms is focusing on sustainability and renewable energy efforts. The projects are expected to produce enough RNG to power more than 2,700 homes and businesses

“Smithfield and RAE have been innovating ‘manure-to-energy’ technology together in Missouri since 2014,” Kraig Westerbeek, senior director of Smithfield Renewables and hog production environmental affairs for Smithfield Foods, said in a release. “Our companies have a longstanding commitment to renewable energy, and we’re thrilled to be one step closer to having nearly all our Missouri finishing farms engaged in producing RNG.”  

“The scale of Smithfield’s operations and our expertise in renewable energy production have created the ideal partnership to have a tangible impact on carbon emissions,” said Rudi Roeslein, president of RAE. “The latest phase of Monarch Bioenergy demonstrates our shared commitment to creating a sustainable future for families with new sources of renewable energy.” 

This investment complements numerous initiatives Smithfield is implementing across the country, including additional renewable natural gas projects in North Carolina, Utah and Virginia. 

To learn more, visit

More from Farm Journal’s PORK:
Smithfield and RAE Partner on MO Renewable Energy Projects

Missouri Hog Farm Supplies Renewable Natural Gas to City of Milan

Unlikely Allies Join Together to Save the Monarch Butterfly


Smithfield Adds Hog Manure-to-Methane Projects in NC, VA and Utah