Tobacco cash grows new businesses - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Tobacco cash grows new businesses

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The cash is aimed to spur business in almost anything other than tobacco, even things like honey, which Giles now harvests and sells. The cash is aimed to spur business in almost anything other than tobacco, even things like honey, which Giles now harvests and sells.
Bob Giles Bob Giles
Christin Herbst Christin Herbst

CARROLL COUNTY, KY (WAVE) - Bob Giles is 80 years old and is as busy as a bee. 

"Diversification money that came out of tobacco," Giles said looking around his workspace, "You're looking at diversification money, a bunch of it."

Giles used to grow tobacco. "Tobacco was king," he said. "It's all you did and you did it from daylight to dark. You did it till you couldn't do anything."

County Agriculture Investment Program grants are tobacco company cash. It has allowed Giles to start up a new business and he's not alone.

"We have more venders probably now than we ever did before because nobody was looking towards produce, and growing vegetables and so forth," said Christin Herbst, the Carroll County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Since 2001 in Carroll County, more than $2 million has been given out. The cash is aimed to spur business in almost anything other than tobacco, even things like honey, which Giles now harvests and sells.

"This one is mine," he said while holding up a bottle. "Of course that's my label too," he laughed.

Giles also makes vinegars and jellies and salsas.

The grants come from the Master Tobacco Settlement from 1998. Then an agriculture fund was set up.

Applications haven't stopped.

"From what we've seen, it's increased," Herbst said.

There is $140,000 in cash this year alone. After years of smoking, Giles now has COPD, making his new ventures away from tobacco that much sweeter.

"I'm glad to see it gone," he said. "For one, I'm glad to see it gone."

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