Authors: Matthew McKay*, University of Florida
Topics: Economic Geography, United States, Cultural and Political Ecology
Keywords: cigar tobacco production, Global Production Networks, Connecticut
Session Type: Paper
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: 8210, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded
The specific suburban/exurban municipalities of the prime agricultural lands of the Connecticut River Valley, at one time, entailed large-scale tobacco crop production as a substantial agricultural activity. “Tobacco Valley” encompassed open-field and “shade” tobacco farming that was dominant throughout much of the 20th Century, given that this type of tobacco had prominence on the rural landscape. The tobacco inputs from the Connecticut River Valley provided wrappers and binders for finished cigars. Consequently, the inputs toward cigar manufacturing were transported elsewhere for final assembly in the cigar production network (given that filler components would be produced in other tobacco-growing regions). However, property owners of tobacco (and other) farms witnessed falling revenues and profits during the mid-to-latter part of the 20th Century, thereby necessitating a transition of land toward becoming increasingly suburbanized. Yet, “Tobacco Valley” in New England has had an important role on the region’s economic geography, and certainly tobacco production has contributed to and been influenced by globalization, in addition to changing consumption patterns. With the decline of tobacco production after the 1960's at this particular spatial scale, despite the continued niche market being fulfilled at yet a smaller scale, warrants further investigation so as to better understand the changing land use patterns that have ensued and to what extent tobacco production will continue in this prime agricultural valley of Southern New England.