Smithfield’s Chairman re-ups as a $1 million consultant…

Ever since he retired as CEO in August 2006, Joseph W. Luter III has been serving as non-executive Chairman and a consultant to Smithfield Foods (SFD). The original consulting agreement noted that Luter was being tapped to provide “cooperation with the Company in the transition of management of the Company following the Executive’s retirement” among other duties.

But three years later — CEO C. Larry Pope has been in the job since Luter left — Smithfield has decided to re-up the Chairman’s consulting agreement, according to the preliminary proxy the company filed yesterday. Under the agreement, which oddly enough never spells out how many hours Luter is required to dedicate to his consulting responsibilities, Luter is paid $1 million a year and another $32K for a company-paid car. Only Pope made more last year according to the filing. The one committee that Luter chaired last year — the Executive Committee — met zero times last year, according to the filing.

Oh — and there’s also the matter of Smithfield’s stock price during the time that Luter has been a highly paid consultant. Not exactly worth it’s weight, huh?