Portrait of Claude Smith

Contact Information

Montana Manufacturing Extension Center
405 3rd Street NorthWest
Suite #203
Great Falls, MT 59404

Phone: (406) 868-9474
Email: Claude Smith


Claude Smith serves as the Food & Process Specialist at the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center. He has decades of industry experience with food manufacturers in Montana, as well as with major national companies Pillsbury and Green Giant. While at Pillsbury he was trained in HACCP by several of the individuals who originally created it for NASA. During this time, he wrote HACCP plans for Green Giant facilities and became a USDA consultant on canned vegetable quality and food safety standards. He helped pioneer the use of UV light for sanitizing vegetable canning and freezing process water, and automated product grading systems. He was also trained as a Statistical Process Control (SPC) Lead Instructor, and taught SPC at many Pillsbury/Green Giant facilities.

Claude has served in Quality and Operations roles for numerous other food manufacturers, as well as working for the University of North Dakota’s Center for Innovation as a Manufacturing Consultant. In Montana, he has held leadership positions at several food manufacturing companies, including Plant Manager at Pasta Montana, a Division of Nippon Flour Milling. Through the years Claude has always pushed forward food safety, innovation, leadership, and efficiency, and he has filled roles as diverse as QA Manager, Process Control Manager, Production Manager, Warehouse Manager, Plant Engineer, Environmental Manager, Plant Manager, General Manager, and Consultant.

Claude is a Lead Trainer for the FSMA Preventive Controls for Human Food rule and the Produce Safety rule, as well as a HACCP instructor. He has designed and managed construction of two green field food manufacturing facilities, and has extensive experience in capital equipment projects, including automation. He has led the implementation of SCADA, vision systems, and robotics projects in several facilities to improve Food Safety, Human Safety, and profitability. Several of his automation projects have been written up in major trade publications.


  • Food Manufacturing
  • Food Safety
  • Process Improvement
  • Capital Projects
  • Leadership
  • Automation

Education & Professional Background

  • B.A. Biology, Jamestown University

Professional Credentials

  • Lead Trainer, FSMA Preventive Controls for Human Food
  • Lead Trainer, FSMA Preventive Controls for Produce Safety
  • HACCP Train the Trainer
  • Lead Instructor, Statistical Process Control
  • FDA Better Process School