Meat+Poultry - June 2020 - 33

chance to get to know many of the 20,000
KCBS members.
"I quickly learned, literally through feet on
the street, by just going to all of these events
and seeing how things work and meeting
the pitmasters and talking to people. That's
when I really realized how much bigger of an
opportunity it could be for Smithfield and quite
frankly, for any protein brand."
Partnering with the association was a
natural fit, especially for a pork-processing
company, given the fact that two of the four
meats judged at all KCBS-sanctioned events
are pork.
"It made a lot of sense for us to double
down our efforts in barbecue so that we would
ultimately build the Smithfield brands among
the competitive pitmasters so that they would
almost become influencers to all of their
network of backyard grilling enthusiasts and
start buying the Smithfield brand."
As the partnership developed, Smithfield
sponsored several high-profile pitmasters who
had earned reputations for winning on the
competition circuit and used their cooking
credibility to pursue other endeavors, from
opening restaurants to launching lines of
food products and cooking gear. In 2017, the
same year she was promoted to director of
marketing, Detwiler started the Smokin' with
Smithfield Grant program, which involved
investments from the company that increased
the prize money at sanctioned events as
well as providing promotional support for
barbecue competitions.
"It was more of a true investment in the

sport," she said. "Obviously we were trying to
build the brand and drive awareness and drive
sales, but we tried to do it in a very authentic
way. And I would say that is something I
brought to the table by getting so involved."
Detwiler embraced what she calls "the
spirit of barbecue," and was inspired by the
willingness of the competitors and KCBS
members to share their tips, techniques
and friendships. She went on to work
with Smithfield to host several of its own
invitational competitions, drawing some of
the biggest names in barbecue and promoting
its position as a leading pork processor to an
influential audience. By then, Detwiler was
an established part of the KCBS network and
worked closely with pitmasters including Chris
Lilly, Tuffy Stone and Sterling Ball.
However, when she found out the company
wanted her to relocate her family to Virginia
in 2019, she opted to pass on the opportunity,
deciding to step down from her role and
continue living in the Kansas City area.
"I had a great experience at Smithfield,"
Detwiler said. "It was a ton of fun."
The end of her tenure at Smithfield signaled
a new beginning with an opportunity that
dovetailed with her experience. So, when a
board member with KCBS contacted Detwiler
about filling the opening as the association's
new leader, she was available and interested.
"Based on everything I had done in the
barbecue space to that point, they thought
I would be a good fit to help drive the
organization into the future," transitioning
from decades of leadership under Carolyn

During her years
working in marketing
at Smithfield, Emily
Detwiler attended many
barbecue competitions
and befriended some
of the most successful
competitors on the circuit.

www.meatpoultry.com | 06.20 | MEAT+ POULTRY

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Meat+Poultry - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat+Poultry - June 2020

Meat+Poultry - June 2020 - 1
Meat+Poultry - June 2020 - FC - 1
Meat+Poultry - June 2020 - FC - 2
Meat+Poultry - June 2020 - 1
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