Did Russell and Haylie Start Chewing?


After 45 years of using chewing tobacco, Dave Holt began developing lesions on his gums. In spite of urging from his dentist to quit the habit, he continued to chew. Eventually, he noticed he was developing a lump under his jaw and assumed it was a bad tooth. The dentist inspected the tooth and said there was nothing wrong with it. He later learned that he had indeed developed cancer. Thankfully the cancer had only infected that lymph gland and had not spread to other areas of his body. After several treatments of chemo, Dave is now cancer free, healthy and has a passion to help others struggling with the chewing habit, to do the same. He has worked on developing tobacco-free snuff since his dentist originally urged him to quit, and became more aggressive in his quest to develop this product after his cancer diagnosis.

Dave and his wife Colleen have one of the many exhibitor booths at the NILE Trade Show and Western Extravaganza.  While alfalfa is plentiful at any stock show, the Holts are selling Montana-grown, tobacco-free chew and brew made from the plant. 

Russell Nemetz spoke with them about their product 

Dave and Colleen’s twin sons, Cotton and Chase, work alongside their parents in this endeavor.  They are based in Whitehall, Montana where Dave and Colleen have lived for the past 30 years.


© Northern Ag Network 2010

Haylie Shipp



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