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Opportunities for career advancement and one of the best safety records in the industry.

About Us



At Smithfield Foods, “good” doesn’t stop with our products — it’s in everything we do.View the campaign




Opportunities for career advancement and one of the best safety records in the industry.Search opportunities



January 9, 2024

The CFP Foundation's Extra Yard for Teachers Receives $250,000 Following Challenge Attempts from ESPN Spokespeople

HOUSTON, Jan. 9, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Eckrich®, the Official Smoked Sausage and Deli Meat Sponsor of the College Football Playoff (CFP), welcomed multifaceted ESPN sports journalist Marty Smith and Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware onto the field at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, to participate in the Eckrich® $1 Million Challenge for Teachers. During the national championship game between the Washington Huskies and the Michigan Wolverines, both spokespeople were tasked with making a 10-yard throw through a 20-inch target. While neither contestant hit the target, Eckrich donated $250,000 for the CFP Foundation's Extra Yard for Teachers initiative.

This college football season and for the sixth year overall, Eckrich® and the CFP Foundation teamed up to help fund classroom projects and support educators across the country for their tireless commitment to their students, helping to ensure they have the necessary tools to succeed in the classroom. As part of this annual partnership, fans nominated their favorite educators for a chance to step onto the field and attempt a throw at a target from 15 yards to win up to $1 million to fund their local schools. Although there wasn't a winning throw this season, Eckrich® recognized the six selected teachers for their dedication and commitment to their communities by providing the CFP Foundation with $2,500 at each local game, as well as $500 to a local retailer of the participating teachers, totaling $15,000 in donations and $3,000 in groceries.

"It's an honor to partner with Eckrich® for the sixth consecutive year and help raise funds for the College Football Playoff Foundation," said Smith. "Each year, I'm excited to prepare for the challenge, and even more excited to see the impact Eckrich and Extra Yard for Teachers will continue to make for schools across the nation."

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Eckrich® $1 Million Challenge for Teachers for the first time this year," Ware said. "Through this program, we were able to raise money for classroom resources nationwide, and I'm happy to recognize all of the wonderful educators nominated for this challenge."

"We're thrilled to be joined by our partners, Eckrich, as well as Marty and Andre, to celebrate year six of the Eckrich® $1 Million Challenge for Teachers," said Britton Banowsky, Executive Director of the CFP Foundation. "Through this program, we've been able to pay tribute to the educators who go above and beyond to further engage, mentor and educate, ensuring their students' success."

Eckrich® also honored the winner of the Eckrich® Teacher of the Year, fifth-grade reading teacher Brooke Gordon, with a once-in-a-lifetime CFP National Championship weekend experience, including a $5,000 check to fund classroom projects.

"We would like to thank our partners at the CFP and its foundation for another successful year of the Eckrich® $1 Million Challenge for Teachers," said Lauren Talbert, senior director of Eckrich®. "As part of our sixth annual partnership, we've donated $2.5 million to educators across the country to provide their students with the opportunity for a better education and as spotlight the great work they're doing in their communities. Congratulations to Marty and Andre for a participating in the challenge to raise additional funds for our educators."

For more information about the Eckrich® $1 Million Challenge for Teachers and Eckrich® National Teacher of the Year, please visit For more information about Eckrich®, please visit and follow Eckrich® on Facebook, X, formerly known as Twitter, and Instagram.

About Eckrich
Founded by Peter Eckrich in 1894, Eckrich has a rich heritage starting from a small meat market in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to one of the most recognized regional premium deli and meat brands on the market today. Through it all, Eckrich meats have been recognized for their great taste and supreme quality, craftsmanship, care, and pride. For more information, visit and connect with us on FacebookInstagram, and X, formerly known as Twitter. Eckrich is a brand of Smithfield Foods.

About Smithfield Foods, Inc.
Headquartered in Smithfield, Virginia, since 1936, Smithfield Foods, Inc. is a U.S. food company that employs nearly 60,000 people in seven countries and partners with thousands of American farmers. As one of the world's leading vertically integrated protein companies, we are dedicated to producing "Good food. Responsibly.®" to feed a growing world population. We have pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including our industry-leading commitments to become carbon negative in our U.S. company-owned operations and reduce GHG emissions 30% 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 food banks, disaster relief efforts and community outreach programs in all 50 U.S. states. Smithfield boasts a portfolio of high-quality iconic brands, such as Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Gwaltney® and Nathan's Famous®, among many others. For more information, visit and connect with us on Facebook, X, formally known as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Threads.

About the College Football Playoff
The College Football Playoff matches the No. 1 ranked team vs. No. 4, and No. 2 vs. No. 3 in semifinal games that rotate annually among six bowl games – the Goodyear Cotton Bowl, Vrbo Fiesta Bowl, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Capital One Orange Bowl, Allstate Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl Game presented by Prudential. This season's Playoff Semifinals will take place Monday, January 1, 2024, at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Prudential and Allstate Sugar Bowl. The College Football Playoff National Championship will be Monday, January 8, 2024, at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.

About the College Football Playoff Foundation
The College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation is the 501(c)3 non-profit organization serving as the community engagement arm of the College Football Playoff and works in partnership with institutions of higher education, sports organizations, corporations and non-profits to support educators and improve student outcomes. The purpose of the CFP Foundation lies in supporting PK-12 education by elevating the teaching profession. The CFP Foundation inspires and empowers educators by focusing its work in four areas: recognition, resources, recruitment and retention, and professional development. To learn more, visit and follow Extra Yard for Teachers (@CFPExtraYard) on social media.

ESPN’s Marty Smith and Andre Ware Joined the College Football Playoff on the field at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX, to participate in the Eckrich $1 Million Challenge

Eckrich the Official Sponsor of the College Football Playoff

Extra Yard for Teachers

SOURCE Smithfield Foods, Inc.

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