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By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | June 23, 1997
LUCAMA, N.C. -- The tobacco farmer lunged forward, his face red with anger at the latest provocation from Washington."Don't get me wrong," said Billy Bass, a gold tobacco leaf swinging from its chain around his neck. "Tobacco is bad. I wouldn't tell it any other way. But as long as it's legal, I'll grow it."The tobacco farmers here have long felt scorned by outsiders. Each development in the anti-smoking wars is another blow, and in the wake of the wide-ranging settlement announced Friday in Washington, the haze of freshly hurt pride was as palpable here in eastern North Carolina as the new summer's heat.
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NEWS
By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun | October 27, 2012
Oden Bowie, the former secretary of the Maryland Senate and grandson of Maryland Gov. Oden Bowie, died Oct. 23 at the Arbor at Baywoods in Annapolis of complications from a fall he suffered at his home last month. He was 97. His daughter, Ambler Bowie Slabe, said he had spent his entire life at Fairview, the Bowie home in Prince George's County. She said he was the sixth generation of his family to reside there. "He was respected and admired by everyone," said Maryland Senate President Mike Miller.
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NEWS
By HEARST NEWS SERVICE | October 1, 1997
KENLY, N.C. - In the sweltering heat of North Carolina's tobacco belt, David Hinnant cruises in a dusty pickup truck, dragging on his menthols as he hauls trailer-loads of green and gold leaves just picked from his family's crop.Hinnant, 44, his father, R.J., brother, Ken, and 30 migrant workers are "barning" - packing tobacco leaves into metal barns to be cured for a week at increasingly higher temperatures until the leaves' starches turn to sugar.It's peak time here in the rural Buckhorn area of Wilson County, and 16-year-old Clay Hinnant has rushed home from school to drive the family's new $75,000 mechanical harvester between rows of chest-high plants on their 1,700-acre farm.
NEWS
By Laura Smitherman and Laura Smitherman,laura.smitherman@baltsun.com | November 7, 2009
Maryland tobacco farmers won't receive about $13 million in payments from cigarette manufacturers under a ruling Friday from the North Carolina Supreme Court. Officials with the Maryland Department of Agriculture said the state had sought to require that Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Lorillard Tobacco Co. honor an agreement to compensate farmers for the declining sales of tobacco expected from a settlement between the tobacco industry and states over the health care costs of smoking.
BUSINESS
By Ted Shelsby and Ted Shelsby,Sun Staff Correspondent | April 4, 1991
WAYSON'S CORNER -- More than 150 Southern Maryland tobacco growers converged on this crossroads community yesterday morning looking for positive signs that an industry which dates back to Colonial times is going to be around for years to come.It was not a young crowd. Several walked with canes as they made their way along the long rows of tobacco baskets piled 3-feet high with the golden brown leaf that attracts buyers from around the world.Joseph Adams was like of many of those gathered at Triangle Tobacco Warehouse in southern Anne Arundel County for the opening session of the annual tobacco auction.
NEWS
By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | March 5, 1998
WILSON, N.C. - As a lifelong tobacco grower, Doug Webb is grateful the overseas market for cigarettes is booming. As a parent, he doesn't approve of teen-age smoking - anywhere. But he says he can't worry his tobacco may end up in cigarettes smoked by adolescents overseas."If they don't get them from us, they'll get them somewhere else," the 43-year-old farmer says. "Everybody has to play their cards for themselves."As Congress considers the proposed $368.5 billion tax-deductible tobacco settlement - and how such a far-reaching pact might affect the rest of the world - Carolinas farmers like Webb concentrate on surviving.
BUSINESS
By Ted Shelsby and Ted Shelsby,SUN STAFF | July 31, 1998
HUGHESVILLE -- For 365 years, Southern Maryland farmers have made a living -- a good living -- growing tobacco.But with smoking under continued attack and the outlook for tobacco bleak, leaf growers are looking at alternatives to a crop that as recently as the early 1980s was referred to as "the economy" of the region.Strawberries, sweet corn, watermelons, cantaloupes, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, honey, organic poultry and emu are among the farming ventures being tried, said Gary V. Hodge, executive director of the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland.
BUSINESS
By BLOOMBERG BUSINESS NEWS | December 23, 1996
QUINCY, Fla. -- In 1922, tobacco farmers here hauled in a bumper crop and, at the urging of local banker Mark Monroe, plowed their profits into shares of Coca-Cola Co."Coke had just come public and Daddy liked the taste," said Julia Woodward, Monroe's 80-year-old daughter. "Plus, he figured the stock would be good collateral because folks would always have a nickel to buy a bottle."For the progeny of the farmers who heeded the banker and never sold, the payoff is dazzling. Today, they own 7.5 million shares valued at $375 million.
NEWS
By Laura Smitherman and Laura Smitherman,laura.smitherman@baltsun.com | November 7, 2009
Maryland tobacco farmers won't receive about $13 million in payments from cigarette manufacturers under a ruling Friday from the North Carolina Supreme Court. Officials with the Maryland Department of Agriculture said the state had sought to require that Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Lorillard Tobacco Co. honor an agreement to compensate farmers for the declining sales of tobacco expected from a settlement between the tobacco industry and states over the health care costs of smoking.
BUSINESS
By Ian Johnson and Ian Johnson,Sun Staff Writer | May 29, 1994
UPPER MARLBORO -- Not too long ago, Maryland's "Mr. Tobacco" worked out of the Tobacco Experimental Farm, a 200-acre bastion of tobacco research surrounded by bountiful farmland. Now, Dr. Claude McKee's farm is devoted primarily to other crops and under siege by land-hungry subdivisions.The farm's switch from rural tobacco center to suburban crop research facility mirrors the fortunes of Maryland tobacco. Dr. McKee, a research scientist with the University of Maryland who has grown and studied tobacco for four decades, has seen the state's tobacco farmers dwindle in number as its farmland has disappeared and demand for its unique brand of tobacco has declined.
NEWS
April 7, 2003
Don't idealize tobacco farmers' deadly work Gee, I just about wept with emotion reading the glowing, nostalgic story about the slow, agonizing death of the dear old tobacco industry ("A lifestyle going up in smoke," April 1). It kind of reminded me of the weeping I did as my husband died a slow agonizing death from lung cancer. I would suggest that The Sun think twice about romanticizing the life and work of tobacco farmers. These people knowingly grow a product that kills people. Why not write an upbeat piece about people who make and sell crack?
NEWS
By David Lamb and David Lamb,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | September 22, 2002
WILSON, N.C. - The old tin warehouse on Goldsboro Street, as big as two football fields, is heavy with the sweet aroma of tobacco. Farmers wait there, tidying up their piles of golden, ripe leaves, stretched out in neat, seemingly endless rows. It is not yet 9 a.m. and their shirts are already sweat-soaked. They sip coffee and talk about quotas and drought and changing times full of uncertainty. Glen Turnage wipes perspiration from his brow. He yanks several dark, crisp leaves from a 200-pound pile, tossing them aside as the buyers approach.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Timothy B. Wheeler,SUN STAFF | January 30, 2001
PORT REPUBLIC - For more than four decades, James Freeland has been one of the first farmers in Calvert County to plant, harvest and prepare his tobacco crop for sale. At age 74, he also is one of the first to accept the state's offer to pay Southern Maryland tobacco farmers to stop cultivating a plant that has defined this region for the past 360 years. "I don't know how I'm going to make it, but I'm going to try," Freeland said. In a bittersweet ceremony to launch the state's buyout of tobacco growers, agriculture officials handed out checks yesterday to the first four farmers who agreed to give up their traditional cash crop.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Timothy B. Wheeler,SUN STAFF | January 30, 2001
PORT REPUBLIC - For more than four decades, James Freeland has been one of the first farmers in Calvert County to plant, harvest and prepare his tobacco crop for sale. At age 74, he also is one of the first to accept the state's offer to pay Southern Maryland tobacco farmers to stop cultivating a plant that has defined this region for the past 360 years. "I don't know how I'm going to make it, but I'm going to try," Freeland said. In a bittersweet ceremony to launch the state's buyout of tobacco growers, agriculture officials handed out checks yesterday to the first four farmers who agreed to give up their traditional cash crop.
BUSINESS
By Michael Dresser and Ted Shelsby and Michael Dresser and Ted Shelsby,SUN STAFF | December 15, 2000
Seeking to speed the end of the state's almost 400-year history as a tobacco producer, Gov. Parris N. Glendening will propose legislation to make the state's buyout program more attractive to the 40 percent of Southern Maryland farmers who have yet to sign up. As part of the bill, the governor will also ask the General Assembly to create an estimated $20 million agricultural land preservation fund to purchase development rights from farmers who end...
NEWS
November 13, 2000
OSTRICHES or chardonnay? Raspberries or hemp? Agricultural researchers are scrambling for alternatives to the dying tobacco industry that has sustained Southern Maryland farms since Colonial times. Maryland farmers who plant some 8,000 acres of tobacco face a shrinking demand and faltering prices. Through the end of November, they can sign up for a state buyout or phase-out of their traditional "sot-weed" production, an $80 million program funded by the national settlement of states with cigarette manufacturers.
NEWS
March 19, 1994
A major General Assembly blow-up is in the making, due to the heavy-handed interference of Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller in budget deliberations. Mr. Miller, eager to cater to his new Southern Maryland constituents, insisted that a tobacco tax increase be killed in committee. House leaders strongly disagree with this approach and are marching ahead with their own tax plan.Mr. Miller is engaging in parochial politics when he should be taking a statewide view of the budgetary situation.
NEWS
August 10, 1997
IF THIS NATION is to have an effective foreign policy and if the Republican Party is to keep faith with its own traditions, the system has to work. When Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms denies a hearing, preventing other Republicans from approving or rejecting Republican Gov. William Weld as ambassador to Mexico, it is not working. The country's influence on Mexico is hobbled and the Republican Party repudiates its own internationalist vision.Sen. Richard G. Lugar of Indiana deserves support for trying to make the system work.
BUSINESS
By Ted Shelsby and Ted Shelsby,SUN STAFF | October 15, 2000
BUSHWOOD - Bert Dean faces the business decision of his life. Should he continue growing tobacco - something with which the 61- year-old Southern Maryland farmer has been involved since he was 6 years old - or accept a big bucks buyout offer from the state? "It's a tough decision," Dean said recently as he worked in the tobacco-stripping barn preparing this year's leaf crop for auction next spring. "I've been doing this all my life," he added. "It's in my blood. It's my heritage. My father grew tobacco.
BUSINESS
By Ted Shelsby and Ted Shelsby,SUN STAFF | September 20, 2000
For more than 350 years, tobacco has been more than a crop in Southern Maryland. It has been a way of life, the backbone of the region's economy as recently as 20 years ago. Today, farmers are struggling to decide whether to continue that tradition or let tobacco go the way of the horse and buggy by accepting a state offer to pay them not to grow tobacco anymore. "It's a tough decision," said Robert L. Swann, who can trace his family's tobacco-farming heritage to the late 1600s. Swann is director of the Tri-County Council of Southern Maryland, which is handling the state's buyout program.
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