Ag Tag donations raise $611,000 to boost 4-H, FFA, KDA
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – FFA and 4-H programs, as well as the Kentucky Department of Agriculture continue to benefit from donations to the Ag Tag program made each year by farmers.
This year, farmers donated $611,743.08 to the Ag Tag Program in the 2020 fiscal year that ended June 30, Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles announced Tuesday
“Year after year, Kentucky farm families step up to support our premier youth agricultural organizations and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture,” Quarles said. “Since I have taken office, we have made a concerted effort to increase the visibility of this program and have raised nearly $3 million as a result. I am appreciative to each and every agricultural producer for supporting this fund during this critical time.”
The voluntary donations are divided equally among Kentucky 4-H, Kentucky FFA, and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA). The KDA uses its share of the Ag Tag funds to support various programs and partnerships such as the Ag Athlete of the Year awards, the Kentucky Leopold Conservation Award, Kentucky Women in Agriculture, and the University of Kentucky Grain and Forage Center of Excellence.
“Over 14,500 Kentucky FFA members in 161 FFA chapters across Kentucky benefit when a person donates the $10 with their farm license plate,” said Sheldon McKinney, executive director of the Kentucky FFA Foundation. “One third of the funds come back to FFA, and we return half of that amount straight back to the community, allowing local teachers to determine their greatest need and the best way these dollars can help their students.
“The dollars we retain at the state level provide opportunities across Kentucky through grants to enhance agricultural education programs, provide travel scholarships to students competing at National FFA Convention, and so much more. The simple act of giving $10 with your license plate creates a tremendous opportunity to easily practice generosity that changes lives.”
“Ag Tag dollars are instrumental in supporting 4-H programs in all 120 counties,” said Melissa Miller, executive director of the Kentucky 4-H Foundation. “Making the $10 donation allows local 4-H programs to grow youth as leaders all while developing them into active, engaged members of their communities.
“At the state level, the Foundation supports statewide programs such as STEM events, Issues Conference, the Performing Arts Troupe, 4-H Summit, and state officer scholarships, just to name a few. Thank you to everyone who chose to make the $10 donation in support of Kentucky’s youth,” Miller added.
Kentucky motorists who buy or renew farm vehicle license plates, or “ag tags,” may make a voluntary donation of up to $10 to the Ag Tag Fund. Half of the 4-H and FFA funds go back to the county where the tag is purchased, where both organizations use the funds to support local programming, awards, and scholarships.