Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6890-6162

Year of Publication

2019

Degree Name

Master of Science in Community & Leadership Development

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department

Community and Leadership Development

First Advisor

Dr. Karen Rignall

Abstract

This thesis explores agricultural livelihoods in Harlan County with two case studies in order to challenge dominant narratives about Eastern Kentucky. Harlan County, and Appalachia more broadly, is often written about in terms of its relationship to extractive industries. Absentee landownership in Appalachia has been well documented, especially in the case of coal counties. However, the relationship between extraction and agricultural livelihoods in Appalachia warrants more attention. The story of agricultural livelihoods in the region is often pushed to the periphery much like the practices of “hillside” farming. While geography makes much of the land unsuitable for farming in Harlan County, a small number of farmers have seemingly persisted through time. Preliminary findings suggest an intricate relationship between coal production, land access, and livelihood diversification through agriculture.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2019.096

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