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Check Off Dollars

Check-off funds, based on one-tenth of a cent per pound of burley tobacco purchased, is split between the Council receiving 60% of the funds and the Burley Co-op 40%. The funds received by The Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association are used for research, education, and promotion projects to benefit the burley tobacco industry. The Co-op is pleased to announce $40,000 of Burley Tobacco Check-off funds in 2018 have been contributed toward three research projects with the University of Kentucky Department Of Agriculture and one with the Pulaski County Conservation District. The projects are described as follows:

Project: Identification of novel regulators of nicotine biosynthesis for controlling nicotine contents in burley tobacco, Sitakanta Pattanaik, UK - $10,000.00

Project: Enhancing Burley Tobacco Production Labor Efficiency, Shengming Yang, UK - $10,000.00

Project: Development of Early Maturing Black Shank Resistant Burley Tobacco Varieties, Bob Miller, UK - $10,000.00

Project: Pulaski County Conservation District to purchase a 2 row liquid fertilizer applicator w/liquid transfer pump, liquid fertilizer carry tote, and spike wheel injectors. They will work with Bob Pearce, Andy Bailey, and Eric Walker for research data collection - $10,000.00

Scholarship Dollars

The Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association also recently awarded scholarships in the amount of $2,000.00 each to five high school seniors and five college students for the 2018-19 school year. Scholarships were awarded based upon general requirement guidelines, quality of the essay, academic record, activities, work experience, and the leadership potential displayed throughout their application. Preference was given to applicants who originated from a tobacco farming background. Each scholarship application was evaluated and scored by our Scholarship Committee on a non-bias and equal consideration basis. The 2018 recipients are:


Christopher J. Barton, Lexington, KY Allison Brockman, Columbia, KY

Nicholas Eades, Finchville, KY Cody Burke, Ewing, KY

Thomas Oldfield, Owingsville, KY Megan Harmon, Flemingsburg, KY

McKayla Raines, Seaman, OH Taylor Saunders, Mayslick, KY

Mitchell Squires, Greensburg, KY Luke Woodall, Quality, KY

TAGS Dollars

Farmers who participate in Tobacco Administrative Grading Service (TAGS) are charged 4 cents per pound for the tobacco that is graded. The Burley Co-op is responsible for administering those funds. From this amount, 1 ½ cents per pound is paid directly to Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) for grading, and the balance of funds are utilized to manage the program and purchase tobacco from our contract growers. TAGS employees do not have access to any grades, weight, or purchases of the tobacco. No U.S. tax dollars are paid to TAGS. The TAGS program does not receive any funding from insurance companies or RMA for grading. The TAGS program is funded entirely by the tobacco growers that participate and was designed to assist the tobacco farmers obtain an eligible quality loss on their crop.

IMPORTANT MODIFICATION: The Quality Loss Crop Insurance Program has changed for the 2018 crop year. The Risk Management Agency has set the price election for 2018 at $1.70/lb. for burley tobacco. The process for obtaining a grade on your tobacco remains the same with the TAGS Program, but when filing a claim, a copy of your sale bill will be required. This will be used by RMA in the process of determining the final payment on your claim.

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