The Asheville-based Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture project has found that the number of Western North Carolina tobacco farms declined by 97% between 1997 and 2012, largely due to the federal tobacco buyout. But Matthew Vann, extension specialist and assistant professor at N.C. State University, believes a different variety could make the crop more economically viable for local growers.
“Land values went sky high, and huge inns were built to accommodate the visitors. The kingdom was awash in gold, and ornate schools and offices were being built at a record pace with the help of the money-changers and the naive municipal bond buyers. What could possibly go wrong?”
“Our mission is to build sustainable farming communities in our mountain region by providing resources directly to small family farmers who are diversifying or expanding their operations.”