Lisa Markowitz is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Louisville. Her research themes have included community food security, the history and impact of rural development programs in Latin America, and the role of producers’ organizations in regional social movements.

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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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