U.S. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, today welcomed South Dakota business owner Mark Tilsen of Kyle, South Dakota, who testified before the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Jobs, Rural Economic Growth and Energy Innovation at a hearing entitled, “The Importance of Regional Strategies in Rural Economic Development.”
Mr. Tilsen is an accomplished businessman and a respected member of the South Dakota business community. He is the current president of Native American Natural Foods, which has developed and markets the Tanka bar, a line of buffalo and cranberry based high protein, low carb snacks sold on more than 375 Indian Reservations and carried in over 6,000 retail locations in all 50 states. Mr. Tilsen is a partner at Lakota Express, Inc., which is a direct marketing and customer care management company. In addition to his current work with these organizations, Mr. Tilsen has co-founded a number of community organizations and businesses throughout the region and has led several tribal economic development efforts.
“I appreciated Mr. Tilsen offering his first-hand knowledge and experience to the Ag subcommittee as we consider how to advance economic development strategies in small communities and work with USDA to successfully implement Farm Bill rural development programs,” said Thune. “Mr. Tilsen is a valued member of the South Dakota business community whose demonstrated leadership in the economic development world can help the Ag committee identify areas we can provide better support to stimulate economic growth in rural areas and Indian reservations. I appreciate him testifying before the subcommittee.”Video of the hearing before the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Jobs, Rural Economic Growth and Energy Innovation can be viewed online here.