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Southville farmer wins big at state fair

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Earns five blue ribbons for tobacco

By Lisa King

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Salathiel H. Snider of Shelby County won several highly placed tobacco awards at the 2010 Kentucky State Fair.

He has been a tobacco farmer all his life, he says.

A life-long resident of Southville, he has been raising quality tobacco since he was a young man.

Snider won five blue ribbons at the state fair in Louisville in August for his Burley tobacco entries, and was also presented with a handsome wooden plaque by Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer.

“I won first place in all classes,” he said with well-deserved pride.

Snider is no stranger to first-place awards in tobacco—he has been winning prizes for his Burley at the state fair since 1954.

He recalled a special time in his life when he was at the peak of his farming career.

“I was about 35 years old, and  I was chosen by a cigarette company to tour with them,” he remembered.

The year was 1960, when Snider  was chosen by Benson and Hedges to travel to New York with them to represent the company, which was founded in 1873 in England by Richard Benson and William Hedges as Benson and Hedges Ltd.

In the 1900s, the company came to the United States, and in 1928, the American branch became independent.

The company approached Snider to represent them shortly after its American branch was purchased by Phillip Morris in  1958.

“They wanted a blue-ribbon winner to promote their cigarettes, so they picked me,” he said.

Snider, 85, is  well-known known in his community as “S.H.”

“That’s what everybody calls me,” he said.