Friday, May 30, 2008
I was cruising thru the lastest issue of the Beef Cow/Calf weekly on line and saw this obit - occasionally I read obits - I don't know why and I doubt I'm the only one that reads about people they don't know - this guy had an amazing life and I bet you've never heard his name - so read on.......
J.R. Simplot, Idaho's legendary billionaire potato king, cattle feeder and entrepreneur, passed away on Sunday. He was 99.
He dropped out of school when he was 14 to rent and farm 40 acres of land. He made his initial fortune of $100,000 in the hog business, which he parlayed into new investments in potato storage houses. That led to the construction of more potato houses, and eventually into shipping of Idaho potatoes.
At the advent of World War II, he figured out how to freeze-dry potatoes for shipment overseas to hungry U.S. troops. From potato processing, he began expanding his empire to include beef cattle, cheese and fertilizer Production. The Simplot cattle-feeding enterprise includes operations in Idaho and Washington turning out about 400,000 head of cattle per year.
Simplot pioneered the first commercial frozen French fry in the late 1940s, eventually becoming a major supplier to McDonald's and other fast-food chains. He said the secret to success was his willingness to work, reinvest and never sell out.
Read more about this amazing man at: www.simplot.com/company/jr_simplot.cfm.
Posted by OneCowgirl at 10:30 AM