Business & Economy
9:00 am
Thu May 12, 2011

Concern Over Eliminating Tobacco Trust Fund

A UNC-Greensboro study shows a major economic impact of small farm ventures funded by the Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund. But state budget cuts could end the program.  

  In this tough economy – there are many casualties in the state budget package passed by the house.  One casualty is the Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. Joe Schroeder is director of the Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund Program – supported by the Tobacco Trust.  He says they have dispersed 3.6 million dollars in the past three years.  But the economic impact was more than 700-million.

Joe Schroeder:  "Some of these folks have been farming for over 100 years and they’re at a point where they need to make a decision and there’s nobody there to help them through that decision if this is to disappear."

Schroeder says one memorable project is in Stokes County where former tobacco farmers now grow sweet potatoes.