We are continuing our look at immigration in South Central Kentucky by focusing on migrant housing. Tobacco farmer Tommy Bale recently built a $100,000 facility that houses nearly 35 employees.
Bale owns property in Hart County. He says he must hire workers from outside of the country. If he doesn't he can't afford to raise tobacco. Bale says he is confident a quota buy-out will happen sometime soon.
Monday kicks-off the tobacco auction as the end of the tobacco season comes to an end.
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Overview of Kentucky's Tobacco Economy
The value of tobacco production in Kentucky has averaged more than $800 million during the decade of the 1990s (1990-1996), compared to averaging $705 million during the 1980s, $443 million during the 1970s and $250 million during the 1960s. Quota increases provide the potential for Kentucky farmers to grow more than $1 billion of tobacco in 1997.
Source: http://www.ca.uky.edu (University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Web site) contributed to this report.