Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Scott H. Beck

Committee Members

Lindsey King, Martha Copp


This thesis addresses the Burley Tobacco Buyout Program and its impact on three local economies. Data collection involved obtaining information from government reports, internet sources, public documents, agriculture offices, federal agriculture officials, and books. Personal interviews were conducted with 32 farmers in Sullivan County, Tennessee; Washington County, Virginia; and Watauga County, North Carolina.

This study is significant because it addresses not only the decline of an agricultural product but also changes in a way of life in Southern Appalachia. The future of burley tobacco growing in this region appears to be bleak because of foreign market competition and decreasing domestic demand. From the personal interviews, many farmers had already abandoned tobacco production and older respondents were often planning to stop all farming practices. Specifics of the federal government-mandated Buyout Program to compensate quota holders and growers are presented, as well as the experiences and opinions of farmers regarding this program.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.