Pittsburgh, PA, United States
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KINSTON, N.C., June 20, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Smithfield Foods, Inc. and the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) held an event at Smithfield’s facility in Kinston, North Carolina to launch Rally Against Rural Hunger, an initiative which aims to raise awareness about rural hunger in both North Carolina and across the nation and the strategies that exist to solve it. A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/d3d369cd-1bd9-446c-a73f-ec5c62f319e1 “Too often hunger is portrayed as an urban problem, yet rural areas face considerably deeper struggles with hunger,” said Alexandra Ashbrook, director of special projects and initiatives for FRAC. “We are thrilled to be joining forces with a company, Smithfield Foods, that has consistently demonstrated its commitment to addressing hunger here in North Carolina, and across the nation.” North Carolina is home to the second largest rural population in the country. According to FRAC, 17 percent of all households in the state cannot afford to buy enough food. By increasing access to federal nutrition programs, such as school lunch and breakfast, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), summer meals, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), child care meals, and afterschool meals, rural areas can mitigate the harms of hunger and poverty while gaining an infusion of federal funding that stimulates the local economy. “A significant percentage of our students are only guaranteed something to eat when they are at school,” said Frances Herring, associate superintendent of Lenoir County Public Schools. “School meals play a critical role in ensuring our children have access to the nutrition they need so they are ready to learn. We are grateful that Smithfield Foods and FRAC will be promoting solutions like this to address child hunger in rural counties like here in Lenoir.” Herring noted that the overall poverty rate in Lenoir County is 23.2 percent and nearly 70 percent of the overall student population is eligible for free and reduced lunch. “While North Carolina farmers help feed the nation, too many of our state’s rural children go hungry. Access to healthy and nutritious food is important in making sure kids come to school ready to learn,” said N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Our department works with participating school systems across the state through our Farm to School Program to have local produce on the menu. It is a great program that offers fresh and nutritious options, helps children make a connection to where their food comes from, and provides a new market for our growers.” Dennis Pittman, senior director of hunger relief, said that Smithfield Foods partnership with FRAC builds on the company’s efforts to help Americans become more food secure through its signature program, Helping Hungry Homes®. The program annually provides millions of pounds of nutritious, high-quality protein to food banks, school nutrition programs, disaster relief efforts and community outreach programs across the country. “As a global food company, we understand the benefits of proper nutrition and we’re passionate about ending hunger,” said Pittman. “We value our responsibility to help our neighbors here in North Carolina and across the country—whether they live in rural, urban or suburban areas-- get enough food to eat for their health and well-being. That’s something we can all agree on, and something we all must act on.” Photos: Employees of Smithfield Foods and event participants created messages on paper plates to demonstrate their passion for ending hunger. About Smithfield Foods Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including SmithfieldⓇ, EckrichⓇ, Nathan's FamousⓇ, FarmlandⓇ, ArmourⓇ, John MorrellⓇ, Cook'sⓇ, KretschmarⓇ, GwaltneyⓇ, Curly'sⓇ, MargheritaⓇ, CarandoⓇ, Healthy OnesⓇ, KrakusⓇ, MorlinyⓇ and BerlinkiⓇ. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com. About FRAC The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) is a leading national nonprofit working to eradicate poverty related hunger and undernutrition in the United States. To learn more, visit FRAC.org.

Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2011

Frac fluids are viscous solutions that are pumped under high pressure to fracture subsurface formations for recovery of natural gas. As it is pumped to the surface, the flowback water picks up large quantities of various contaminants that make it difficult to dispose or recycle. Though this water contains hazardous substances such as heavy metals (i.e. copper, lead, zinc, and cadmium), arsenic, selenium, and numerous organic compounds, it is often improperly disposed to local streams without little or no treatment. Frac Biologics preliminary experiments using Biofilm Technology to treat frac flowback water have shown that removal of heavy metals is feasible. The objective of the Phase I research is to isolate natural halophilic biofilm organisms that will cost effectively remove heavy metals, arsenic, selenium, and organic compounds. During Phase II, biofilm columns will be built to process frac flowback water and prove the effectiveness of the technology. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Frac Biologics, Inc. was formed in 2009 to commercialize Biofilm Technology, specifically the remediation of contaminated water, such as acid mine drainage and frac flowback water. After biofilm columns are shown to effectively treat frac flowback water in Phase II research, the technology will be commercialized by scaling up to large-scale biofilm systems that can treat contaminated water on site

Gonzalez-Gonzalez D.,Frac Biologics, Inc. | Cantu-Sifuentes M.,Frac Biologics, Inc. | Praga-Alejo R.,Autonomous University of Coahuila | Flores-Hermosillo B.,Autonomous University of Coahuila | Zuniga-Salazar R.,Autonomous University of Coahuila
Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence | Year: 2014

It is expected that samples in reliability analysis contain both censored and complete failure data; thus, the maximum likelihood method is used to estimate the parameters of the related distribution. Nonetheless, samples may contain only censored data; therefore introducing a high degree of uncertainty which does result in non-viability for either the likelihood method or for statistical inference. This paper proposes the use of fuzzy probability theory to account for the uncertainty and the prior knowledge of the process in the parameters estimation, for censored data. The proposed method was applied to risk based inspection. Results demonstrate that our method represents a reliable option for using the expert knowledge about the component and the physics of the failure mode. Additionally, an inspection time was estimated based on target risk; the results confirm that the methodology could be used to develop maintenance plans. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Praga-Alejo R.J.,Frac Biologics, Inc. | Gonzalez-Gonzalez D.S.,Frac Biologics, Inc. | Cantu-Sifuentes M.,Frac Biologics, Inc. | Perez-Villanueva P.,Frac Biologics, Inc. | And 2 more authors.
Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence | Year: 2013

A Hybrid Learning Process method was fitted into a RBF. The resulting redesigned RBF intends to show how to test if the statistical assumptions are fulfilled and to apply statistical inference to the redesigned RBFNN bearing in mind that it allows to determine the relationship between a response (to a process) and one or more independent variables, testing how much each factor contributes to the total variation of the response is also feasible. The results show that statistical methods such as inference, Residual Analysis, and statistical metrics are all good alternatives and excellent methods for validation of the effectiveness of the Neural Network models. The foremost conclusion is that the resulting redesigned Radial Basis Function improved the accuracy of the model after using a Hybrid Learning Process; moreover, the new model also validates the statistical assumptions for using statistical inference and statistical analysis, satisfying the assumptions required for ANOVA to determine the statistical significance and the relationship between variables. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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