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NC Tobacco Farmers Headed for Nation's Capital

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ZEBULON — Tobacco farmers are leaving their plows behind for a day so they can till their relationships with lawmakers. They're headed for Washington, DC to make sure farmers get a piece of the bounty in that multi-million dollar tobacco settlement.

Three bus loads of farmers left Tuesday morning from Zebulon, determined not to be left out of the settlement. They are the only people in the tobacco chain who are not considered for compensation in the agreement. They want to know where they stand as the system for buying and selling tobacco changes.

Growers from all across North Carolina climbed aboard the buses intent on lobbying their representatives. Farmer Ralph Ellington said farmers are looking for relief, for the state's economy as well as themselves.

Farmer Claude Neal says people don't realize what tobacco farmers have invested.

WRAL conducted a "Your Voice, Your Vote" opinion poll in NC, and found that 42 percent of 1,000 respondents favored tobacco farmers getting compensation for new limits on tobacco. Another 47 percent said they should not, while 11 percent were undecided or had no opinion.