Restoring a Native Population (our Oct. 2011 green-biz interview)
“Currently, the Great Plains are dominated by cattle and by industrial farming, which are not sustainable,” says Mark Tilsen, co-founder of Native American Natural Foods. “These practices drastically reduce biodiversity, while grazing activity by buffalo actually encourages it. Industrial agriculture increases soil erosion, while the natural prairie grasses that buffalo prefer hold the soil in place.”
To help restore the prairie and the buffalo, Mark Tilsen and Karlene Hunter started a green business that would grow the buffalo population to supply the raw materials for their protein-rich snack bars.
We asked Mark to tell us more about the relationship of the buffalo to the prairie, how his company benefits the Oglala Lakota, and the meaning of the name Tanka…