By Kristi Eaton
Situated on the Lower Brule Indian Reservation, Lakota Foods is the first and only Native American-owned company that grows, packages and distributes popcorn—about 17 million pounds each year.
“It’s unique because it’s raised, cleaned and packaged right here in South Dakota, but people don’t realize that and there are other people trying to copy it,” Barry Heiss, manager of the Lower Brule Farm Corp., said.
The Lower Brule Sioux Tribe started the business about seven years ago. It buys the popcorn seed and then raises it on 8,000 acres of irrigated land, Heiss said.