Celebrating 75 Years of Don Plant

For Immediate Release

Date: January 24, 2019

Contact: Tori Parks (208) 991-7987

Email: media@simplotgames.com


Celebrating 75 Years of Don Plant

Pocatello, Idaho – Simplot Games is an unmatched track and field event in North America, with a 40-year pedigree, much like Simplot’s Don Plant is unmatched in the phosphate manufacturing industry, celebrating its 75th year of operation this year.

Though Simplot Games are the highlight of the year for many track and field athletes worldwide, the Games wouldn’t be possible without the Don Plant, which was started in 1944 by 36-year-old Mr. J.R. Simplot.

It was because of the continued success of the plant, which was named after Simplot’s son Don, that Simplot was able to take over what was known as the Bennion Games in 1979 and turn them into Simplot Games.

The Don Plant has been continuously running and producing phosphate fertilizer for seventy-five years, which is an accomplishment for any industry but is especially momentous for the phosphate industry.

“The Don Plant has been in continuous operation for seventy-five years,” said Trisha Arave, plant manager. “This is a remarkable milestone that has been achieved through safe, sustainable, and innovative efforts.”

Much like Simplot Games have grown and expanded through the years, Don Plant has expanded as well. When the Don Plant started in the 1940s, it produced less than 1,000 tons of phosphate products annually. Now, the plant produces over 1,000,000 tons annually.

“Don Plant initially manufactured a single product called triple phosphate sugar,” Arave said. “We now generate eighteen different products and sell over 1.2 million tons of finished goods.”

Though the Don Plant has grown in size, it still tries to stay local, contributing time and money in support of local community efforts.  The plant also employs approximately 370 people and utilizes local contractors and suppliers.

Simplot Games heavily relies on the Don Plant. Many people don’t realize that employee volunteers from Don Plant help with security, maintenance, timing, judging, food service and more. In many ways, the Games wouldn’t be possible without the plant.

“It’s important for track and field athletes to compete and have fun at Simplot Games,” said Lisa Woodland, Executive Director of Simplot Games. “However, we hope competitors understand that the Games wouldn’t be possible without the Don Plant.”



More than 2,100 athletes will come from across the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand to participate in the 41st annual Simplot Games. Simplot Games remains the nation’s premier high school indoor track and field event. Sponsored by the J.R. Simplot Company since 1979, the Simplot Games are held at Idaho State University’s Holt Arena in Pocatello, Idaho.

For more information on Simplot Games, please visit our website at www.simplotgames.com. You may also contact Lisa Woodland at (208) 235-5604 or Simplot Games Media Team at media@simplotgames.com.




Simplot Games

The Nation’s Premier High School Track & Field Event

Pocatello, Idaho

(208) 235-5604

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