Food Processing and Agribusiness

Food processing.jpgWhile Idaho may be synonymous with potatoes, the Boise Valley's sunny climate, warm days and abundant irrigation have made it a center for the food and agriculture industries. Over the last 100 years, led by such pioneers as the legendary J. R. Simplot, Idaho’s long tradition of farming has been transformed from a simple way of life into a major economic force in the Boise Valley.

In fact, agriculture today is the single biggest contributor to Idaho’s economic base, accounting for 20 percent of the gross state product. And far from its reputation for “famous potatoes,” food and agriculture in Idaho – the Boise Valley in particular – are extremely diversified, producing numerous varieties of crops and seeds, dairy products, cattle and livestock – and yes, even award-winning wines.

 Click the picture to the left to download our Food-Processing and Agri-Business brochure.  Learn more about why Boise Valley is a perfect fit for companies in these industries. 

Idaho's Power Costs?  Over the last seven years, Idaho Power's industrial rates have been 40% less than the national average.  Commercial rates are one of the lowest in the country.  

Idaho Food and Agribusiness QuickFacts:

  • #1 producer of potatoes, supplying 29 percent of the U.S. market
  • #1 producer of food-size trout (12 inches or longer), supplying 72 percent of the U.S. market
  • #2 in the production of peas and barley
  • #3 for total cheese and milk production in the U.S.
  • #3 producer of hops, hay, sugar beets, mint, as well as fresh plums and prunes
  • Idaho’s dairy industry employs nearly 23,000 individuals

Bill Whitacre, President and CEO
J.R. Simplot Company

contact_us_button-1.jpgI didn’t really fully appreciate what agriculture was about until I got into this high value, irrigated land and production practices in the West.  When I got here I thought I’d found Nirvana because of the opportunities that we have that are unique to most places in the world.”  Read on.>>


J. R. Simplot Company
The J. R. Simplot Company is a privately held food and agribusiness corporation based in Boise, Idaho, with more than 10,000 employees worldwide. Annual sales exceed $3 billion. The company has grown into a global food and agribusiness conglomerate with products sold in every state and many foreign countries. Simplot produces products for professional foodservice operations and consumers. Among their products are frozen potatoes, avocado products, premium select fruits and vegetables, and specialty foods.

Lactalis American Group
Lactalis American Group is the U.S. holding company of Group Lactalis, the world leader in dairy products. The Lactalis Nampa plant employs more than 600 Idahoans and produces cheese and whey product with milk sourced 100% from local dairies in Idaho. Lactalis has invested nearly $200 million and nearly tripled the number of employees since they acquired the plant in 1999 from J.R. Simplot Company.

Great American Appetizers
Great American Appetizers has been providing premium appetizers to the foodservice trade since 1959, offering a complete selection of frozen appetizer products from their manufacturing locations in Nampa, Idaho. Great American Appetizer’s 200 employees specialize in manufacturing proprietary, custom-made products serving the nation's finest regional and national restaurant chains.

Nestle PowerBar
In 1994, PowerBar opened its first state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Boise. Founded in 1986, PowerBar would go on to be purchased by Nestle in 1999. Today, the Boise location continues to serve as a manufacturing plant, as well as a distribution facility for PowerBar products.

Bigelow Tea
In 1945, Ruth Bigelow created "Constant Comment" tea, and the Bigelow Tea company was born. In 1983, Bigelow Tea opened a 60,000 sq. ft. production facility in Boise that produces many of the company's signature specialty teas, and has a veteran workforce with an average tenure of over 12 years.

Land O'Lakes
Land O'Lakes is a national, farmer-owned food cooperative that does business in all 50 states and 60 countries. With $11 billion in sales in 2010, the company is a leading marketer of dairy-based consumer, foodservice and food ingredient products across the United States. Land O'Lakes operates production, packaging, and research facilities in Nampa.

Meadow Gold
Meadow Gold Dairy has been producing fresh, quality dairy products since 1901, and is the region's oldest and largest full-service dairy company. Meadow Gold has production facilities in seven western states, including Boise.

Marathon Cheese
Founded in 1952, Marathon Cheese is one of the largest independent cheese packaging companies in the world. Through four locations, including one in Mountain Home, Marathon Cheese packaged products ship to all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Materne's GoGo Squeez: in 2014, GoGo Squeez joined the food-processing scene in the Boise Valley, with a new state of the art facility in Nampa, ID.  Here, the company manufactures squeezable applesauce and other fruit pouches.  The Nampa facility will house 230 employees at full ramp-up.

Clark Krause
Executive Director
Mobile: 208-863-9675
Phone: 208-472-5230
Charity Nelson
Director of Economic Development
Mobile: 208-863-8521
Phone: 208-472-5240
Ethan Mansfield
Project & Research Manager
Mobile: 208-921-4686
Phone: 208-472-5246
250 S. 5th St.
Suite 300
Boise, Idaho 83702
© 2018 Boise Valley Economic Partnership