Tobacco's Role in Logan County Changes Over the Years

By: Forrest Sanders Email
By: Forrest Sanders Email

For the past week, there's been an event nearby packed with pageants, country cuisine, bluegrass music and a parade.

On Oct. 14, the Logan County Tobacco Festival came to a close. The county-wide gathering was a celebration of the Tobacco crop, but has the importance of tobacco in Kentucky changed over the years?

Lifelong farmer Coren Estes hasn't smoked a cigarette in his life. For
him, growing tobacco for 40 years served as a helpful aid in paying for his children's livelihood.

"All three kids were raised, educated and clothed through the benefits of tobacco," Estes said.

Estes is one of hundreds at the Logan County Tobacco Festival.
It's a time for area residents to reflect on tobacco's history in Kentucky, while others think about how much the farming of the crop has changed.

"When I was a kid, nearly all farmers had a tobacco base, and it was government supported through a tobacco program. In recent years, the program has been voted out, and tobacco is raised through contract directly to tobacco companies," Estes explained.

"They have taken away so much of the acreage that you can grow and stuff. "It's more or less gone to the big farmers rather than the small farmers," added farmer's wife, Inez Bradshaw

Of course, the festival doesn't appear to be much a celebration of tobacco at all. But according to Estes, the event is helping ensure the
future of tobacco in Kentucky.

"It encourages the young people to keep pressing on in this family tradition, and it is a tradition. It's something you learn when you're young and you want to keep it going," Estes said.

Estes added that he believes that as long as there are young people who have good intentions to grow tobacco, the crop will always have a place in Kentucky.


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