The Enduring Story of Kenneth W. Monfort

(1928–2001)

The Enduring Story of Kenneth W. Monfort

(1928–2001)

Originally called Monfort Feedlots, Monfort Colorado Inc. was founded in 1930 in Greeley, Colorado, by Warren Monfort.


Known for pioneering the feedlot concept, Warren created a system to feed his cattle throughout the winter months so consumers could enjoy fresh beef and meatpackers could keep working year-round.

Monfort Historic Logo
Historic aerial black and white photograph of Monfort Feed Lots

Kenneth W. (Ken) Monfort, Warren’s son, went to work at the company after World War II.


Ken is perhaps best known for moving the company’s meat packing plants to where his cattle were raised, eliminating expensive shipping costs associated with transporting cattle to Chicago, Kansas City and other big meat processing cities.

Ken was also one of the first innovators in the beef industry to stop selling whole carcasses to grocers, who had to find a way to divide them and sell each part. With his new approach, Ken divided the cattle first and sent prime parts to retailers and other customers.


In 1950, the company had $1 million in annual sales and 1,000 head of cattle. By the 1960s, there were more than 100,000 ‘pampered cattle’ in the Monfort lots – the first cattle in the nation to eat hot corn flakes for breakfast.

By the time Ken Monfort sold the family business in 1987 to ConAgra, the cattle company was one of Greeley’s largest employers and one of the world’s largest beef operations.


Honoring his family’s legacy in agriculture, real estate and energy, Kenneth Monfort (Ken’s grandson) founded Monfort Companies in 2011.


Monfort Companies is a next-generation company committed to adding long-term economic value and vitality to communities throughout Colorado.