The Story of Burley Tobacco Farming in Bethel, Watauga County, North Carolina: Cultural Meanings and Economic Impacts

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jonathan Buchanan (Creator)
Institution
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: http://www.library.appstate.edu/
Advisor
Susan Keefe

Abstract: During the twentieth century, tobacco farming characterized the culture and economy of many southern Appalachian mountain communities, including Bethel, Watauga County, North Carolina. Since 2004, following the end of the federal tobacco program, tobacco farming in the mountains has all but ended. In 2011, only three farmers raised tobacco in Bethel, the last tobacco farming community in the county. At one time, hundreds of farmers grew tobacco every year in Watauga County. What was once an important crop and way of life in the mountains is now gone. Although tobacco farming often provided partial portions of incomes in the mountains, tobacco farming, as part of diversified farm operations, was critical to the maintenance and sustainability of agrarian cultures and economies. Now, without tobacco farming, agrarian communities in the mountains face a tenuous future. This thesis examines the culture and economy of tobacco farming in Bethel, Watauga County, North Carolina from its origins, in the 1930s, to today.

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
Buchanan, J. (2012). The Story of Burley Tobacco Farming in Bethel, Watauga County, North Carolina: Cultural Meanings and Economic Impacts. Unpublished master’s thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2012
Keywords
Tobacco, Burley tobacco, Farming, Agriculture, Watauga County, Bethel, Mountain tobacco farming, Agrarian community