Today, I will uncover the richest man in Idaho Falls.
Idaho has 325,000 acres of potato fields, and it tops the ranking of leading potato-producing states, with an annual production of about 134 million cwt of potatoes. However, its richest resident doesn't work in farming anymore, and he doesn't live in its capital city Boise.
Who is the richest person in Idaho, and where does he live?
Frank Vandersloot is the richest person and lives in Idaho Fallas with a net worth of $3.2 Billion.
Working on a farm
VanderSloot was born into a poor farming family on August 14, 1948, in Billings, in southern Montana, on the Yellowstone River. He spent his early life in Cocolalla, northern Idaho, chopping wood, feeding chickens, and milking cows where the family lived on a ranch.
By the age of 12, his dad had to work at a railroad job to support his family, so 12 years, Frank VanderSloot had to step up and run the family farm. During college, he worked in a laundromat that he lived in before leaving on a mission trip to Europe.
He received an associate’s degree in business from Ricks College and a bachelor’s degree in marketing from BYU.
Life after college
After graduating from college, Frank VanderSloot worked for ten years in sales and marketing at Automatic Data Processing. He then became Regional Vice President at Cox Communications.
In 1985 Frank Vandersloot founded Melaleuca. The company makes more than 400 products ranging from health supplements to eco-friendly household cleaners. During the last 36 years, he grew the company's annual sales to over $2 billion. The company serves hundreds of thousands of households in 20 countries and territories across the globe.
VanderSloot serves on the board of directors and executive board of the United States Chamber of Commerce. In 1998 he was awarded Idaho Business Leader of the Year. In 2001 he was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, CNN, USA Today, and many others.
He is also a powerful political donor, contributing millions to Republicans. He was a national finance co-chair for Mitt Romney's two presidential bids. His political activity has brought him influence. In 2016 Donald Trump Jr. visited the Melaleuca headquarters and met with Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina.
According to Forbes, "He is a major landowner -- with an estimated 117,500 acres across Idaho, Utah, and Montana -- and he runs a leading purebred Angus cattle operation."
Frank Vandersloot is a busy man who is not afraid to tell you what he thinks, and he is a believer in people. He wants to help people succeed, "In our business, people are most successful only when they succeed in helping others reach their goals.”
As he says, it takes dedication and persistence to build any business, and he is very dedicated and persistent in accomplishing his goals and helping his community.