Dark Tobacco farmers honored
U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company celebrates
Kentucky and Tennessee’s dark tobacco farmers
More than 700 members of dark tobacco farm families from Kentucky and Tennessee gathered recently in Hopkinsville for a dinner and reception hosted by U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company.
Held at the James E. Bruce Convention Center, the event provided an opportunity for USSTC to recognize the company’s long-standing partnerships with the farmers of Kentucky and Tennessee and reaffirm the company’s commitment to the families and communities that grow dark tobacco in the region.
Guest speakers at the dinner included Dr. William Snell, agricultural economist from the University of Kentucky; University of Louisville professor Dr. Brad Rodu; and Congressman Ed Whitfield of Kentucky’s First District. Each shared his unique perspective on the bright future of the dark tobacco industry.
“The dark tobacco community plays an important role in the rural economy of my district,” said Congressman Whitfield. “I have been a tireless advocate in the U.S. Congress for tobacco farmers, protecting them from unnecessary and harmful regulations. I want to congratulate the members and friends of the dark tobacco community for their successful efforts to modify the legislation currently pending in Congress regarding federal regulation of tobacco products. I’ve heard from a number of farm groups and organizations about this legislation and will continue to work to make certain that their voices are heard on this issue. I am pleased to show my support for the dark tobacco community.”
The event was emceed by Danny Kingins, plant manager of USSTC’s manufacturing facility in Hopkinsville and a fifth-generation dark tobacco farmer.
“U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company is dedicated to the dark tobacco community in Kentucky and Tennessee,” said Kingins. “We buy only 100 percent American-grown tobacco for our products and are proud of our history in this region. Most importantly, we thank dark tobacco farming families working in partnership with us to play a leading role in keeping the farm economy strong.”
USSTC has manufactured its products using tobacco grown in Kentucky and Tennessee for more than 185 years and employs on a full-time or seasonal basis nearly 900 people in the region. The company also funds adult scholarship programs and research grants at five local colleges and universities in Kentucky and Tennessee. These scholarships have benefited more than 350 families, helping preserve the American tradition of the family farm.