Leaf

The image, of a small tobacco shed, was captured on a trip through nearby Penns Valley. A recent census counted 16,000 tobacco farms in the US in 2007. These harvested 785 million pounds of tobacco and generated more than billion dollars in revenue in that year. The IRS also determined that North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, and Pennsylvania were the country’s top producers. Other sources estimate that nearly 15 million pounds of tobacco are harvested in Lancaster county Pennsylvania alone each year. According to these data Pennsylvania contributes less than 10% of the country’s total tobacco harvest of more than three-quarters of a billion pounds. Our entirely unscientific census of local agricultural practice suggests that over the last few years, and probably due to dips in both national and local economies, an increasing number of acres have been planted to tobacco and more buildings have been erected in support of this industry. I’m not sure who the end users of Pennsylvania’s tobacco crop are, no matter, the State needs to work harder to reduce the frequency of smoking. According to a 2012 report card issued by the American Lung Association Pennsylvania earned failing grades of F for its efforts in the areas of Tobacco Prevention Control and Spending, and Cessation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 45 million people (19.3% of adults) smoke cigarettes in the US and smoking is the leading cause of preventable death accounting for more than 443,000 losses each year. Anyway, I liked the picture and thought it colorful. The two boxes on top of what looks like a seed drill are driers. The steel wheels on the drill and what looks like a plow of some sort are a give-away that this tobacco shed resides on an Amish farm.

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