HREvolution Awards were presented recently to five companies — Wayne Farms, Oakwood, Ga.; Smithfield Foods, Smithfield, Va.; Chicago Meat Authority, Chicago, Ill.; North Side Foods Corp., Arnold Park, Pa.; and Jennie-O Turkey Store, Willmar, Minn. — in recognition of human resources solutions that demonstrate innovation and excellence in response to human capital challenges in the meat and poultry industries, according to a press release from Ameritas Group.

Ameritas Group and The National Provisioner, a publication of BNP Media that targets meat and poultry processors, developed the HREvolution awards and personally presented them to the winning HR departments.

According to the release, response to the 2008 HREvolution Awards was outstanding. “The goal of this program is to recognize human resources departments at meat and poultry processors nationwide that employ best practices, effectively solve human capital issues and improve the work environment for employees at all levels of their organizations,” said Kenneth VanCleave, president of Ameritas Group.

Entries submitted were evaluated by a panel of 14 senior-level human resources professionals from across the country.

Two of the companies were recognized for their health and wellness initiatives. They were:

Smithfield Foods, Health and Wellness Program: Smithfield implemented a health and safety management system focused on 18 elements, with hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control as the key fundamentals of the program. The goal of the new Employee Injury Prevention Management System was to make employee health and safety more than a priority, but a core value in how Smithfield Foods conducts its business. The program emphasizes a high level of formal management engagement and accountability, as well as formal hourly employee interaction.

Chicago Meat Authority, Health and Wellness Program:Concerned about the healthiness of its employees, Chicago Meat Authority created “CMA’s Biggest Loser” program to encourage employees to shed unwanted weight and develop healthy eating and exercise habits. During the 13-week program, Chicago Meat provided personal trainers for employees, created an educational environment and rewarded employees for losing weight. The 13 employees participating in the program lost a collective 217 pounds, or an average of 16 pounds each.