Brown County Ag and Natural Resources
The Agriculture and Natural Resources Program consists of a variety of programs.
Tobacco has historically been a major economical crop for Brown County. Brown County is the home to White Burley which was first grown in Higginsport on the Ohio River. Ripley, a town also located along the Ohio River, was the home to the only market in Ohio for tobacco for several decades. That changed in the 2007-08, which was the first year that there was not a tobacco market in Ohio. Since the "Buyout" in October of 2004, the tobacco market has changed. There is no longer an auction, rather a receiving station. Ripley had a receiving station for two years, but the company that was buying there is no longer buying in Ripley. As the marketing season ended for the 2006 crop, the company made a surprising announcement that they would not be returning for the 2007 crop. They had made an agreement with a facility much closer to their Springfield, Tennessee headquarters. This happened so late, that Ripley was unable to find a company to issues contracts for 2007. As we move forward, it now appears that there will not be a market in Ohio for Burley. This does not mean that Brown County tobacco producers are without a market for their crop, they have contracts with other companies. For the most part, the crop will be marketed across the Ohio River, in Maysville, KY.
The fourth weekend of August is the weekend for the Ohio Tobacco Festival held in Ripley. This has event has changed over the years, but it is still very well attended each year.
The county is very different from the northern border, which is mostly flat and primarily grain. The south border is the Ohio River, and the southern part of the county is rolling to hilly. This part of the county is where most of the tobacco and grapes are grown, along with the majority of the beef production.
Soybeans have recently become the biggest cash crop with the decline in tobacco production. The county continues to look at ways to diversify in Agriculture. Beef cattle is now the largest livestock industry in the county, as there are still a few dairy farms, swine farms, and a few sheep farms remaining. Meat goats are growing in interests. Fresh vegetables are also of interest, as well as Wine Grapes. There are several grape growers in the county, with two new wineries in the past decade. Kinkead Ridge Vineyard and Winery have recently been recognized world wide for some of their wines. Recently, a new winery opened, Meranda-Nixon Winery. The vineyard is less five years old, with the owners changing over from tobacco production to grow grapes.
The Brown County Fair is held in late September. This fair is also known as "The Little State Fair". The fair is a place for all of the youth to exhibit their 4-H and FFA projects, among other youth organizations. The fair is a good place to see the diversification in agriculture that Brown County has to offer.
If you would like to be added to an e-mail list to receive up-to-date information by e-mail, please e-mail me atAlso indicate which of the following e-mail lists that you would like to be added to: Grain Crops, Beef Cattle, Swine, Tobacco, Sheep, Meat Goats, or Vegetables. In addition to e-mail, you can read the weekly articles in the local newspapers for the upcoming events, or listen to Buckeye Country (105.5 FM) at 6:55 a.m. on Friday mornings, C-103 (103.1 FM) on Fridays at approximately 12:25 p.m. or on the third Friday of each month you can catch up on things at 12:15 p.m. on WFTM (1240 AM) in Maysville, KY.