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J R Simplot Company

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The J. R. Simplot Company (commonly referred to as Simplot) was founded in 1929 by 20-year-old John Richard Simplot near the small agricultural community of Declo in south central Idaho. During the early 1940s the business expanded, serving the military dehydrated onions and potatoes during World War II. The firm was legally incorporated as the J. R. Simplot Company in 1955. Simplot made billions from the commercialization of frozen french fries by one of its scientists, chemist Ray L. Dunlap. By the early 1970s it was the primary supplier of french fries to McDonalds; by 2005 it supplied more than half of all french fries for the fast food chain. Simplot also produces fertilizers for agriculture the mining of which has been a cause of recent environmental concerns. Simplot is now one of the largest privately owned companies in the world (ranked 59th in Private Companies by Forbes magazine in 2004) and has branches in Australia, Canada, Mexico, China, and several other regions. One of the major plants is in Caldwell, Idaho.

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