Animal Handling Specialist

Your Opportunity

A great job and a great future await you at Smithfield Foods. As the world’s largest pork processor and largest hog producer in the United States, we’re a $16 billion global food company with more than 55,000 employees. We’re looking for motivated people who want to join our team and grow lasting and meaningful careers with us.


Our team members receive industry-competitive salaries and are eligible for great benefits packages:


  • Competitive Starting Pay
  • Eligible for Overtime Pay
  • Comprehensive Health Insurance, Retirement Benefits and More
  • Education benefit available to full- and part time Smithfield team members on their first day of employment.

*Program eligibilities apply


This position is responsible for the oversight of the Smithfield Foods animal welfare program at the plant level. It is the responsibility of this position to maintain the high level of expectations concerning animal welfare at Smithfield Foods, but to also assist in developing the program as the industry evolves. This position trains all involved with the handling of livestock. The incumbent will be responsible for assisting with the daily handling of livestock, managing the plant’s animal welfare committee, and all daily animal welfare audits. The incumbent will also play a major role in all audit/tour groups involving animal welfare, and maintain and update all records involving animal welfare. Incumbent is also responsible to ensure plant is meeting government regulations pertaining to livestock handling as well as internal Smithfield policies as stated in the quality management plan.

Salary Range

$20.91 - $30.67/hour

Core Responsibilities

  • Monitor and provide hands-on assistance to all aspects of the animal welfare program from the time hogs arrive to the time of stun.
  • Maintain a positive relationship with Government officials. If a weekly meeting is held, represent Livestock and Animal Handling in a positive manner and address any issues or concerns.
  • Assist as needed on daily tasks including but not limited to monitoring truck unloading, monitoring the condition of facilities and equipment, and monitoring overall animal handling procedures.
  • Maintain a good working knowledge of the Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) guidelines. In the event of a livestock driver incident, ensure the Livestock Hauler Incident Report is completed and distributed to the Smithfield Corporate Animal Welfare Management Team. Maintaining TQA advisor status to retrain drivers in the event of an incident is a bonus.
  • Assist the Procurement staff in investigating and documenting receiving incidents including livestock hauler accidents and excessive DOAs. Utilize the report templates posted on Qualtrax and distribute to the Smithfield Corporate Animal Welfare Management Team.
  • Train all current and new hires that handle livestock on Smithfield’s current livestock handling, euthanasia, and humane handling policies at the frequency set forth by the Smithfield Corporate Animal Welfare Management Team. Maintain the training matrix with dates of completed training.
  • Ensure that all daily plant, transportation, and insensibility audits and the monthly verification audits are being performed by trained individuals. Review all audits upon completion, ensure items requiring corrective actions are addressed, input in the weekly audit tracking spreadsheet, and distribute the report weekly to the plant AWRT and Smithfield Corporate Animal Welfare Management Team.
  • Ensure facilities and equipment are maintained including but not limited to the daily barn inspections and captive bolt gun records including the daily cleaning log, weekly preventive maintenance log, and parts replacement tracking.
  • Maintain the Corrective Action log within the plant weekly animal welfare recap. Items to be noted within the CA log should include facility and equipment opportunities, employee handling incidents, mechanical issues, and audit failures. Corrective actions are to be logged, reviewed with the AWRT, and followed up for completion.
  • Organize and lead Animal Welfare Response Team (AWRT) meetings a minimum of monthly. Complete the AWRT meeting minute agenda and distribute the report weekly to the plant AWRT and Smithfield Corporate Animal Welfare Management Team.
  • In the event of an animal handling incident, convene an emergency AWRT meeting with available committee members and perform a thorough investigation. Complete the AWRT Corrective Action Template and distribute to the Smithfield Corporate Animal Welfare Management Team upon completion.
  • Attend the weekly Animal Handling Specialist conference call. Review items from the plant’s perspective, address any action items assigned, and update the plant’s AWRT of any updates including industry updates and sister plant opportunities.
  • Serve as plant lead on all audit and tour groups involving animal welfare. Prepare documentation needed during animal welfare audits and present it to the auditor upon request.
  • Attend company/industry events and training sessions to further education, growth, relationships, and provide voice for company on animal welfare topics. Maintain continual education growth to allow for increasing responsibility if it arises.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified. May perform other duties as assigned.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals to perform the essential functions.

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university in animal science or related field and 2+ years of related experience; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Provide Animal Handling Instruction.
  • PAACO certified auditor
  • Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) Instructor Certification
  • Working knowledge of livestock handling tools.
  • Working knowledge and experience with captive bolt gun.
  • Computer skills for data entry and presentations. Public speaking, organization skills and weekly conference calls.
  • Communication with management, producers, USDA and others as needed, provide direction for process improvement.
  • Ability to work well with others in fast paced, dynamic environment.
  • Ability to be respectful, approachable and team oriented while building strong working relationships and a positive work environment.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics & physical demands described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The plant environment will include wet or humid conditions (non-weather related), extreme cold and heat (non-weather related), working near moving mechanical parts, exposure to fumes or airborne particles, and chemicals.
  • Noise level in the work environment can be loud when in the production area.
  • Frequently required to move and/or lift 50 pounds and occasionally required to move and/or lift more than 100 pounds.
  • Specific vision includes close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.

Career Benefits

To learn more about Smithfield’s benefits, visit

Why Work at Smithfield Foods? 

We are committed to meeting our employees' needs, addressing their concerns and helping them enjoy rewarding careers with our company. 



With more than 60,000 jobs globally, our employees drive our success. We strive to create a fair, ethical and rewarding work environment.



Working at Smithfield isn't just a job – it's the foundation for a lifelong career with training designed to help you advance professionally.



Our people matter. That's why we offer excellent, comprehensive benefits packages to our full-time employees.



Sustainability is ingrained in our culture and guides how we operate. We believe in innovating for the future.

About Smithfield Foods

Headquartered in Smithfield, Va. since 1936, Smithfield Foods, Inc. is an American food company with agricultural roots and a global reach. With more than 60,000 jobs globally, we are dedicated to producing "Good food. Responsibly®" and serve as one of the world's leading vertically integrated protein companies.

We have pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including our industry-leading commitments to become carbon negative in U.S. company-owned operations and reduce GHG emissions 30 percent across our entire U.S. value chain by 2030.

We believe in the power of protein to end food insecurity and have donated hundreds of millions of food servings to our communities. Smithfield boasts a portfolio of high-quality iconic brands, such as Smithfield®, Eckrich® and Nathan's Famous®, among many others.

For more information connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

EEO/AA Information

Smithfield is an equal opportunity employer committed to workplace diversity. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, gender identity, protected veterans status, status as a disabled individual or any other protected group status or non-job characteristic as directed by law.
Milan, MO
Salary Range:
$20.91 - $30.67/hour
1st Shift
Hog Procurement