Term: tobacco industry
One of the earliest and most enduring of Wisconsin's specialty crops, tobacco was first sold commercially in the 1850s. Tobacco boomed during the Civil War when the secession of the south created a strong market for the crop. By the 1880s, tobacco was grown across southern Dane county and in Rock and Jefferson counties. A second area of production developed in Vernon and Crawford counties in the 1900s. Tobacco prices fell during the Depression but the Agricultural Adjustment Act helped to solidify the market by restricting the number of acres in production. Although tobacco cultivation was not native to Norwegians, they soon became strongly associated with it due to the large number of immigrants who worked on tobacco farms.
View pictures relating to tobacco at Wisconsin Historical Images.
[Source: Wisconsin's Cultural Resources Study Units, Wisconsin Historical Society]