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Northern Latitude Foods

Beautifully Wild, Beyond Organic, Non-intervention Food

In his quest for a side gig, McKinley Dixon, co-owner of Northern Latitude Foods, stumbled upon the wild rice fields bordering Benewah Lake. Intrigued and spurred on by his family, he delved into Idaho’s lesser-known agricultural treasure. Today, the Dixon family oversees a thriving 100-acre wild rice farm.

Videography: Guy Hand

While rice might not be the first association with Idaho agriculture, Heyburn State Park’s marshy terrain has nurtured wild rice for nearly a century, likely introduced by migratory waterfowl. This isolated corner of Northern Idaho has given rise to a unique rice variety, distinguished by its longer, plumper grains bursting with flavor.

McKinley, equipped with a background in integrated plant sciences from Washington State University, possesses the grit and gumption required for this distinctive grain. His thoughtful innovation led to the creation of an airboat harvester, ingeniously crafted from vintage airplane parts. Embracing his role as a farmer and food producer, McKinley manages crops, ensures successful harvests, handles packaging and distribution, and his flexible approach underscores his commitment to the entire process.

Until 2021, all of Northern Latitude’s wild rice was sold wholesale, but since then, it has launched a vertical consumer brand. The wild rice can be found in retailers across the Pacific Northwest.