Farmers Federation News, November 1924, James G.K. McClure, Jr. Collection, Southern Appalachian Archives, Mars Hill University

Southern Appalachia and the Changing Industrial Landscape

Farmers Federation News, November 1924, James G.K. McClure, Jr. Collection, Southern Appalachian Archives, Mars Hill University

Cooperative Marketing in Early 20th Century Southern Appalachia

Join Hart-Melvin Archival Research Fellows Jonathan R. Brown and Hannah McCormick in the Ramsey Center for Regional Studies on Thursday, February 28, 2019 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. for “Unveiling Our Treasures.”

Brown and McCormick will give a glimpse into life in Southern Appalachia and the changing industrial landscape of the United States during the 20th century as they present the research they have done in Mars Hill University’s Southern Appalachian Archives.

Their research has focused on using early 20th century Southern Appalachia as a case study to explore the impact of cooperative marketing and antitrust exemption. Antitrust legislation revolutionized the United States’ approach to industrial organization. However, various exemptions to these antitrust laws were granted in subsequent years.

A look at exemptions granted in the agricultural industry, as well as the arguably inexplicable exemptions given to baseball, provides an insight into life in Southern Appalachia and can serve as an introduction to pricing strategy and basic game theory at the undergraduate level. Professor Brown, with support from McCormick, has produced an article that uses real-world examples from U.S. history as an introduction to the concept of industrial organization for the undergraduate student.

Jonathan R. Brown earned his Ph.D. in economics from Temple University in 2017. During graduate school he taught classes at Temple University, Rutgers University-Camden, Saint Joseph’s University, and the University of North Carolina at Asheville, before taking a full time position as an assistant professor of economics at Mars Hill University in the fall of 2017. In addition to his background in economics, Brown received a certification in digital filmmaking from the New York Film Academy. In his spare time he enjoys woodworking and writing short works of fiction.

Hannah McCormick is a senior at Mars Hill University. During her time at MHU she has been involved in the campus’ Rotaract Club, serving one year as president. She was also awarded the honor of serving as an MHU marshal and is currently president of MHU’s Alpha Chi Honor Society. She expects to graduate from Mars Hill University in May of 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in apparel and interior merchandising and a minor in business administration.

The Hart-Melvin Archival Research Fellowship was named in honor of beloved former Mars Hill faculty members Dr. Virginia Hart and Dr. Robert Melvin. It was made possible by the Mars Hill class of 1960 and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The fellowship supports a faculty-student team each year as they explore the Ramsey Center for Regional Studies’ Southern Appalachian Archives. For more information visit

“Unveiling Our Treasures” is an annual event and is free and open to the public. For directions and parking information, please visit

About the Liston B. Ramsey Center for Regional Studies

The Ramsey Center offers programs that explore the rich history and culture of Southern Appalachia, houses the Southern Appalachian Archives, and presents the annual Bascom Lamar Lunsford “Minstrel of Appalachia” Festival, which takes place in early October. For more information: (828) 689-1115,,

About Mars Hill University

Mars Hill University is a premier private, liberal arts institution offering over 30 baccalaureate degrees, as well as master’s degrees in criminal justice, elementary education, and management. Founded in 1856 by Baptist families of the region, the campus is located just 20 minutes north of Asheville in the mountains of western North Carolina. The university’s Asheville Center for Adult and Graduate Studies is located on Airport Road in Arden.