Tripp Foy’s sing-song chant rang out like a sentimental oldie for die-hard farmers clinging to the old way of selling tobacco, as a small procession of buyers shadowed him down long rows of reddish-brown leaf piled in bales. Farmers who have spent their lives tending the aromatic crop in their fields find comfort in Foy’s rat-a-tat style, part of an auction system that’s been all but snuffed out by another way of selling tobacco after years of declining smoking rates.

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