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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to annemarie@southernfoodways.org.

< Back to Oral History project: Sorghum: Southern Sugars


Kaitlyn Elliot

Poorhouse Sorghum

Kaitlyn Elliot, born in 1997, was raised in Gravel Switch, Kentucky. Elliot grew up helping her grandparents garden. Her grandfather and grandmother, Jimmy and Betty Elliot, always grew a big garden and preserved food. In high school, her grandfather Jimmy began farming sorghum again when her cousin needed an FFA project. Her cousin didn’t stick with making sorghum, but in 2010, Kaitlyn took her cousin’s spot. She enjoyed farming and processing sorghum cane. During high school, she took business classes at night to learn more about owning her own business. She also applied for grants to buy new equipment for their small operation.

Elliot attended University of Kentucky to study agricultural education in 2014. Every fall, she continues to grow sorghum with her grandfather, going home on the weekends to help harvest and process the cane. She uses her education in agronomy and horticulture in the sorghum field. Kaitlyn and Jimmy sell their sorghum to local restaurants in neighboring Danville, as well as Farmers Market and throughout the nation through their Etsy account.

Date of interview:

Annemarie Anderson

Annemarie Anderson

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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