Jenrose Fitzgerald’s work focuses on the transition of Kentucky’s agricultural economy away from tobacco, and on the innovative use of tobacco settlement funds for crop diversification and agricultural development in the state. Since 2006, she has been engaged with economic development and energy issues as a research associate at the University of Kentucky’s Appalachian Center.

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In 1998, tobacco was Kentucky’s top cash crop. Kentucky was one of the three states with the largest number of family farms still in operation—and domestic tobacco was their main crop. Major changes swept over the tobacco industry that year when it was pressured to compensate states for the public health costs associated with smoking …

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In April 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a landmark decision to create new strict water quality guidelines that would minimize valley fills at mountaintop removal sites. These guidelines are not written into law and may be overturned by a future administration, but they represent a significant victory for those who …

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