Tobacco state governors and the four largest cigarette manufacturers established the Trust fund in 1999 to provide direct cash payments to tobacco quota holders and growers to offset income losses they incur as the tobacco industry changes.
The Kentucky Tobacco Settlement Trust Corporation has facilitated payment of over $588 million in the first five annual distributions made since the establishment of the Trust.
An estimated $130 million will be distributed in December of this year, according to Keith Rogers, president of the corporation. The payments are made to quota owners, tobacco growers and tenants who share in the risk of producing tobacco. Approximately 158,000 Kentuckians have received benefits annually from the Trust since 1999.
The application will be mailed to the crop year 2003 farm operator of record according to the USDA-Farm Service Agency. In addition, all basic quota owners who are not listed as a farm operator will receive a letter indicating who received the application form for their farm. The Growing Farm and Grower/Tenant compensation has been predetermined through past application cycles for crop years 1998, 1999, and 2000.
For more information and assistance in completing the application, applicants should call 1-877-549-2537.