J. R. Simplot of Global Agrobusiness Dies at 99

{mosimage}Born in Dubuque, Iowa, Jan. 4, 1909, Jack Simplot soon became an Idahoan when his family moved to a farm near Declo in the southern part of the state when he was 2 years old. He left school when he was 14 to go into business for himself, according to an obit on the company website.

The early part of his career involved farming and the storage and distribution of fresh potatoes. He started his first produce company in 1929 in southern Idaho.

In 1941, he built a dehydrator and began processing large quantities of dehydrated potatoes and onions at a plant near Caldwell, Idaho.

Under contract to the federal government during World War II, Simplot supplied about 33 million pounds of dehydrated potatoes to the U.S. Armed Forces from 1942 through 1945. In 1944, production began at the Simplot Co.


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