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Unformatted text preview: s, he bought 18,000 acres
along the Snake River, paying 50 cents an acre for it with borrowed money. His company now has 85,000 acres of irrigated farmland, and
Simplot personally owns more than twice that amount of ranchland. He owns much of downtown Boise and a big hillside home overlooking
the city. At home he flies a gigantic American flag on a pole that’s ten stories high. In addition to what he owns, Simplot leases more than 2
million acres of land from the federal government. His ZX Ranch in southern Oregon is the largest cattle ranch in the United States, measuring 65 miles wide and 163 miles long. Altogether, Simplot controls a bloc of North American land that’s bigger than the state of
Despite being a multibillionaire, J. R. Simplot has few pretensions. He wears cowboy boots and blue jeans, eats at McDonald’s, and drives
his own car, a Lincoln Continental with license plates that say “MR. SPUD.” He seems to have little patience for abstractions, viewing religion
as a bunch of “hocus-pocus” and describing his potato empire matter-of-fac...
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- Spring '08