Lamb Weston first started in 1950 as a family business when F. Gilbert “Gib” Lamb purchased a defunct co-op plant in Weston, Or and incorporated it. He renovated the facility to become the most advanced pea processing plant in the US. In 1960, the water gun knife was invented – the first device to slice French fries in a high-velocity water flow – this quickly became the worldwide industry standard. They would have many inventions to come over the years. At Lamb Weston, they apply their inventive thinking to everything they do.
In 1961, Lamb Weston officially entered the domestic potato processing market with the construction of a new processing plant in American Falls, ID. Over the next 10 years, the company developed additional processing plants in Connell and Quincy, WA and Hermiston, OR. New products were introduced over the years as well as new processing plants and expansions. They’ve earned and continue to earn – a reputation as an industry pioneer and one of the world’s leading suppliers of frozen potato products.
One of the largest employers in our community, the Connell plant employees approximately 375 people. The Connell plant used to fluctuate in the number of employees from harvest season to winter season but that is not longer the case. The Connell Lamb Weston plant runs approximately 300 days a year processing about 1,100 tons of potatoes a day! There are about 25 growers from the Columbia Basin and surrounding area that sell their crop to Lamb Weston. Offering many different potato products in their line – they have 30 different cut styles and 150 products. A few of the favorite products are lattice chips, crinkle cut fries, diced potatoes, and natural fries. Lamb Weston products are shipped all over the US as well as internationally. On August 14th, Connell Lamb Weston will be celebrating their 50th anniversary.
Visit their website lambweston.com for more information on products, recipes, resources, and the history and story of Lamb Weston. Lamb Weston is located at 811 West Gum Street on the south side of Connell. The office phone is 234-5511. They are open Monday through Friday from 8am – 5pm.
Photo provided by: Lamb Weston-Connell