A thousand words beyond the Hill

Jimm Winn

Sherman Marklin stands on the trailer attached to his faded, yellow, 1971 Chevy pickup, watching as Matilde Cuellar, a migrant worker from Mexico, pulls sticks of tobacco from the barn. A life-long farmer, Marklin, 51, was born and raised in Franklin, Ky.

Marklin began farming on his own when he was 13. He raised a crop of One Sucker Tobacco, which he sold to buy his first truck, a ’49 Chevrolet.

At 85 acres, Marklin is the largest tobacco grower in Simpson County, and it is his size that helps keep him in business.

“My guess is that in the next five years you won’t see any one- or two-acre tobacco farms anymore,” he said. “It just costs too much to keep up. Tobacco will become just like row crop farming – two or three people will own pretty much everything.”

Jim Winn is a junior photojournalism major from Bowling Green. He can be reached at [email protected]