For more than 10 years, people have farmed tobacco in Greene County, North Carolina.
Greene County is the most tobacco-dependent county in the state and the second most tobacco-dependent county in the nation. But by 2000, the old economic order was changing fast; declining tobacco sales meant decreased demand and greater unemployment for farmers. But the story does not end there.
Greene County’s Beyond Tobacco initiative is an example of how a holistic approach to building a technology infrastructure, combined with technology education programs and customized local content, improved the lives of hundreds of residents in this community.
Using the online Greene County Ag Center, Greene County farmers can research crops and learn how to start new livestock and organic produce businesses. Greene County’s affordable Internet access has attracted 20 diverse new businesses in the span of two years. Broadband access has created a wealth of opportunities.