Dark tobacco has been part of western Kentucky’s agricultural history for centuries, and a new DVD informs people about its long existence and continued importance today.
The one-hour DVD, “Farming in the Black Patch,” showcases the still-working Smith Family Farm in Calloway County that has grown dark-fired tobacco for 10 generations. The video premiered Nov. 5, 2012, at Murray State University, and its producers hope that PBS stations throughout the country will eventually televise it.
“My father, Billy Smith, still owns Smith Family Farm and talked with me one day about documenting the history of dark tobacco farming in western Kentucky,” says Bobbie Bryant, promoter of the film. “I contacted Michael Breeding Media in Lexington about the video idea, and Michael did a fine job with the production.”
Bryant says the DVD features a wealth of information about the longtime crop, with interviews from farmers, bankers and historians.
“We hope KET (Kentucky Educational Television) will eventually agree to air the video, followed by additional PBS affiliates after that,” she says. “Dark tobacco remains a functioning industry that still provides jobs and continues to have a market today. But one day it will be gone and lost in time. This DVD will help remember it.”
UPDATE: KET has agreed to air the film and will start doing so in February. The schedule for air dates will be released in late December. To view clips and order the DVD, visit www.farmingintheblackpatch.com.