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Dominican-born agronomist Francisco Hernandez understands tobacco growing and derives great satisfaction from developing a product that is both complex and refined.

Affectionately known as Don Quico by his colleagues, Hernandez joined Scandinavian Tobacco Group’s leading manufacturer and marketer of handcrafted cigars for the premium market in the US, General Cigar Co., in 1994.

Hernandez’s position is constantly evolving.

In his latest role as General Manager Tobacco Growing and Long Filler Processing, which he has held for over a decade, Don Quico is responsible for overseeing the growing of wrapper and long filler tobacco in Mao, as well as tobacco processing at the company’s facility in Licey, Dominican Republic. He spends most of his time supervising the company’s agricultural practices, working with farmers and managing tobacco processing at General Cigar’s facility in the Dominican Republic:

“The transfer of new technologies to farmers is a big challenge; we are working in the development of new seeds through breeding techniques, and the results we are seeing are very exciting.”

After obtaining his masters in agricultural engineering from Texas A&M University, Hernandez sought experience within the tobacco industry and built a career around learning every aspect about a crop that requires constant dedication and attention. The expertise he’s developed working with wrapper cultivation and binder production allows him to understand the oftentimes unpredictable nature of his work:

“You learn something new about tobacco every day, and that I love. Putting knowledge to work and obtaining good results is what ignites me.”

Learn more about the cigar production process here: www.st-group.com/en/about-our-tobacco/making-of-tobacco/cigars

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