How it all began
The journey began on the Great Plains of Colorado
Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, LLC, credits the most complete beef operation in the nation – Monfort of Colorado, Inc. After returning from WWI in the late 1920’s, Warren H. Monfort began farming north of Greeley, Colo. In 1930, during the Great Depression, Mr. Monfort became a pioneer in quality cattle feeding and was among the first in the industry to begin providing quality fed cattle to packing plants on a year-round basis. The Monfort feedyard grew rapidly, reaching a capacity of 3,500 head during WWII, an enormous number for that period. In 1966, the method of processing flaked corn was pioneered at the Monfort feedyard. By 1968, the operation had burgeoned into the world’s first 100,000-head feedyard. The phrase “We don’t just feed cattle … We feed the world” began.
Planting the seeds of growth
Continental Grain Company.
In 1813, Simon Fribourg founded a small grain-trading firm in Arlon, France (now Belgium). When Belgium was struck by famine in 1848, Simon Fribourg’s son, Michel, made the perilous trip to Bessarabia (now Romania), carrying sacks of gold to buy grain to ship back home. With trade expanding in Europe, Arthur Fribourg established operations in Antwerp. Partnering with his father and brother, he built flour mills in Belgium and Luxembourg. In 1921, opportunity arose in the United States with the Midwest’s emergence as a global grain powerhouse. Jules Fribourg opened Continental Grain Company with a seat on the Chicago Board of Trade and an office in New York City. In 1945, led by Michel Fribourg and headquartered in New York City, Continental Grain emerged as one of the largest private grain companies whose processing, storage and transport networks extended from farmers to consumers around the world. In 1975, Continental Grain Company purchased Coronado Feeders, and, by 2000, a new beginning in the cattle industry emerged, ContiBeef LLC.
From the past to the present, Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, LLC, takes pride in its heritage and is proud to be associated with the grain and cattle feeding industries’ pioneers.
Warren H. Monfort begins farming north of Greeley, Colo.
Mr. Monfort becomes a pioneer in quality cattle feeding as a method of utilizing crop surpluses. Mr. Monfort is the first in the industry to provide quality fed cattle to packing plants on a year-round basis.
The Monfort feedyard grows from a capacity of 3,500 head into the world’s first 100,000-head feedyard. Warren Monfort and his son, Kenneth, expand the operation into meatpacking in 1960, pioneering the movement of beef processing plants from urban consumer areas to the sources of fed cattle.
1969 – Construction is completed on Cimarron Feeders, Colorado Beef and Interstate Feeders. 1970 – Construction is completed on Gilcrest Feedlot. 1972 – Construction is completed on Coronado Feeders, Hartley Feeders and XIT Feeders. 1974 – Construction is completed on Kuner Feedlot and Grant County Feeders.
Construction is completed on Yuma Feedlot. Continental Grain Company purchases Cimarron Feeders. Kenneth Monfort sells Monfort of Colorado to ConAgra Foods. The company continues operations as ConAgra Red Meats IOC.
Continental Grain Company acquires feedyards: 1975 – Coronado Feeders; 1978 – XIT Feeders; 1979 – Colorado Beef; 1981 – Grant County Feeders; 1987 – Cimarron Feeders; 1997 – Hartley Feeders.
Continental Grain Company forms ContiBeef LLC as a subsidiary. This subsidiary is made up of six cattle feedyards – Cimarron Feeders, Colorado Beef, Coronado Feeders, Grant County Feeders, Hartley Feeders and XIT Feeders.
Swift and Company begins operations. The feedyards remain financed by ConAgra but has reporting responsibility to Swift and Company. The feedyards continue operations as ConAgra Cattle Feeding Company and Monfort Finance Company. Interstate Feeders, built in 1969 and originally an EA Miller feedyard, becomes part of this entity.
Swift returns control of the feedyards to ConAgra. ConAgra sells the Cattle Feeding Division to Smithfield Beef Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc. Operations continue as MF Cattle Feeding.
Five Rivers Ranch Cattle Feeding, LLC is formed and is comprised of the six ContiBeef feedyards owned by Continental Grain Company and the four Smithfield Beef Group feedyards owned by Smithfield Foods, Inc.
JBS acquires Five Rivers Ranch Cattle Feeding, LLC from Smithfield Foods and Continental Grain Company.
JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, LLC acquires McElhaney Feedyard, Wellton, Ariz.
JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, LLC is acquired by Pinnacle Asset Management, L.P., from JBS USA, becoming Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, LLC.