|Founded||1929; Declo, Idaho|
|Key people||J. R. Simplot, Founder
Bill Whitacre, President and CEO
Scott R. Simplot, Chairman
|Products||frozen food processing, fertilizer manufacturing, cattle feeding, and other businesses related to agriculture|
The J. R. Simplot Company, commonly referred to as Simplot, was founded in 1929 by 20-year-old J. R. Simplot near the small agricultural community of Declo in south central Idaho. The business expanded due to high war profits 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 invention 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 McDonald's; 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.
The Simplot company is one of the largest in Idaho and has a large presence in that state, including the sponsoring of Simplot Stadium, and Simplot Sports Complex in Boise. The Simplot company is active in Idaho politics; Butch Otter, current governor of Idaho, was employed by the company for 30 years and at one time served as head of its international division.
J. R. Simplot retired as president of his company in 1973, but remained involved for many years. He stepped down as chair of the board in 1994, and held the title of Chairman Emeritus until his death in 2008. In 2001, Simplot received an honorary degree from Utah State University, honoring him for his many contributions to the agricultural industry of America and, particularly, the mountain west.
Since its founding, J. R. Simplot Company has contributed to numerous local organizations and causes, including Ronald McDonald House, Boys & Girls Clubs, Future Farmers of America, St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital and the Special Olympics. Much of the company’s philanthropic efforts are directed by employees serving on the company’s volunteer service committee. Additionally, the Simplot Company has donated thousands of pounds of potatoes to the Idaho Foodbank and the Boise Rescue Mission. They have also provided monetary support for the arts throughout Idaho including Ballet Idaho, Opera Idaho, and the Boise Philharmonic.
In 2009, Simplot Company was awarded the Spirit of Treasure Valley award by the United Way of Treasure Valley.
Environmental record 
In February 2002, Simplot agreed to buy equipment and pay penalties related to an unreported release of 80,000 pounds of sulfur dioxide from a facility in Pocatello, Idaho. The company violated the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act by failing to immediately notify the Power and Bannock Counties' Local Emergency Planning Committees or the State Emergency response Commission of the release.
In February 2004, J.R. Simplot Company agreed to pay the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) $525,000 and install $2 million in air pollution control equipment to resolve violations of the federal Clean Air Act at its silica sand mining facility in Overton, Nevada. The violation occurred in 1988 when the company removed equipment required by the federal Clean Air Act to control emissions of air pollutants.
In June 2005, J.R. Simplot agreed to pay a $4550 fine for violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act in a settlement with the EPA. The company was investigated for misbranded pesticide containers.
In early 2012, Simplot submitted a report to the Environmental Protection Agency to explain its view regarding how and why pollution limits could be eased in phosphate mine areas. Research shows that pollution caused by phosphate mining may cause deformities in trout such as having two heads. It has also been linked to livestock die-offs of sheep and cattle in other areas. The report issued by Simplot included images of deformed fish both from hatcheries (where the fish never swam in Idaho water) as well as from streams in the mining area.
Simplot is one of six major companies to join the Obama Administration in an effort to significantly reduce energy use over the next 10 years. Simplot plans to improve energy efficiency by over 25% in 16 manufacturing facilities across the country. They have already improved energy efficiency by 25% in four facilities over the last three years. 
In June 2012, Simplot partnered with two conservation groups in an effort to improve the water quality of the Blackfoot River in Eastern Idaho. The trio include J.R. Simplot Company, Monsanto and Agrium/Nu-West Industries, the Idaho Conservation League and Trout Unlimited. 
In May of 2012, Simplot Phosphates received a state Earth Day award for the environmental work they have done in Nevada. The award is given to companies who go above and beyond to in an effort to improve the environment. 
Early in 2012, Simplot’s Conda Pump Station was awarded the star award for their outstanding safety and health results over the last 5 years. The pump station operated for 5 years without registering a single lost time or recordable injury. That is over 79,000 hours over more than 1,800 days. The Conda Pump Station has maintained “star” status since 1996. 
In December of 2012, Simplot opened a new eco-friendly plant in Ulverstone, which is in the Northwest region of Australia. The new plant will decrease Simplot's carbon emissions by 39,000 tonnes a year and is beneficial for both the environment and business, says Simplot Director Terry O'Brien. 
Simplot brands 
- Edgell (frozen vegetables)
- Leggo's (Italian dishes)
- Ally (salmon)
- Seakist (tuna)
- John West Foods (tuna)
- Harvest (heat and eat)
- Chiko Rolls
- I&J (frozen meats)
- Best Products (Fertilizer)
- Apex Polyon Products (Fertilizer)
- Jacklin Seed (Grass Seed)
- Brandt, Richard (1990-09-03). "J.R. Simplot: Still Hustling, after all these years". Business Week (3176): 60–65. ISSN 0007-7135.
- "Honorary Degrees and Commencement Speaker - Previous Recipients". Utah State University.
- "Simplot Make Mark With Impactful Philanthropy".
- "Simplot Make Mark With Impactful Philanthropy".
- Bill Dunbar (2002-02-20). "Simplot Settles Emergency Notification Case". United States Environmental Protection Agency.
- Laura Gentile (2004-02-12). "J.R. Simplot agrees to pay EPA $525,000 to resolve Clean Air Act violations". United States Environmental Protection Agency.
- Chris Gebhardt (2005-06-06). "EPA Reaches $4,550 Settlement with J.R. Simplot for Misbranding Pesticide". United States Environmental Protection Agency.
- "Understanding Simplots Mutant Fish".
- "Obama Administration Announces New Partners Join the Better Buildings Challenge]".
- "Miners, conservationists join to save river, trout]".
- "Five companies receive state Earth Day awards]".
- Caribou County Sun Newspaper
- "New Simplot plant to save 39,000 tonnes of carbon per year]".