Smithfield Foods, Inc. is pleased to announce Tammy Russ, senior operations manager of the company’s Tar Heel facility in North Carolina, has been named a 2022 STEP Ahead honoree by The Manufacturing Institute.

The institute is the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers and seeks to build and inspire the next generation of female leaders in manufacturing—from the factory floor to the C-suite—through its STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Awards. The program annually recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of industry women demonstrating leadership in their companies and communities. 

Tammy Russ began working at Smithfield’s Tar Heel facility, the largest pork processing facility in the world, more than two decades ago as a single mother. She has since achieved numerous promotions and today oversees the case ready, marination, and blending departments at her home facility. 

"I’m humbled to be recognized among female leaders who are as passionate about manufacturing as I am," said Russ. "As leaders in our industry, it’s important we remember that equipment and machinery don’t matter nearly as much as the people working them. We also have a responsibility to support one another in our careers, and especially other women.” 

Tammy was recognized during the 2022 STEP Ahead Awards ceremony hosted April 27-28, 2022, in Washington, D.C.  

“Tammy’s hands-on, compassionate leadership style is a huge asset to Smithfield. We are so proud to have her on ou team,” said Keira Lombardo, chief administrative officer for Smithfield Foods and a 2016 STEP Ahead Award honoree. “Female leaders like Tammy are safeguarding the future of our industry by developing and advocating for the next generation of leaders who will follow in our footsteps.”

Smithfield is committed to the diversity, equity and inclusion of its workforce and is hiring full-time positions in its manufacturing, farm and distribution operations. For more information visit To learn more about Tammy’s story, visit this link.

Source: Smithfield Foods