Kudzu was called the "Asian wonder vine" back in the 1930's and was used as animal feed and deemed the answer for soil erosion. Southern farmers were given a subsidy to sow topsoil with the invasive vine and the Soil Conservation Service employed hundreds of young men during the depression to plant kudzu through the Civilian Conservation Corps. Not realizing the environmental damage this would eventually cause, the kudzu vines grew virtually unchecked in the perfectly suited climate of the southeastern US, earning it the nickname "the vine that ate the south". The vines grew as much as a foot per day during the summer months, climbing and swallowing anything in their path. By 1997 Kudzu had been placed on the "federal noxious weed list" and today covers over seven million acres of land in the southeastern United States, mostly in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and Mississippi.