FRANKFORT (August 7, 2018) — Kentucky farmers made $612,106.42 in voluntary donations to the Ag Tag Program in the 2018 fiscal year ended June 30, the second-highest total in the history of the program, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announced.
“Once again, Kentucky farmers have stepped up to the plate for the future of Kentucky’s agriculture industry,” Commissioner Quarles said. “I am grateful to each and every individual who made a donation. These funds will help our industry grow and prosper.”
The voluntary donations are divided equally among Kentucky 4-H, Kentucky FFA, and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA). The KDA used its share of the Ag Tag funds for various promotional programs such as the Ag Athlete of the Year awards the department co-sponsored with the Kentucky High School Athletic Association.
“The Ag Tag program has become such an important source of funding to Kentucky FFA,” said Sheldon McKinney, executive director of the Kentucky FFA Foundation. “We return half of all dollars back to the local communities they were donated from, and the impact of this program is tremendous. The funds that the Kentucky FFA Foundation retains support Ag Achiever Grants, which help establish new technology in local programs, and they support leadership training for our state FFA officers, which trickles down to over 14,000 Kentucky FFA members.”
“Since 1909, 4-H has been developing the next generation of Kentucky leaders, and we wouldn’t be able to do so without support from programs like Ag Tag,” said Melissa Miller, executive director of the Kentucky 4-H Foundation. “Kentucky 4-H is thankful for each Kentuckian who generously invested in youth development through Ag Tag and for our partnership with Commissioner Quarles, the KDA, and Kentucky FFA.”
The 2018 total was surpassed only by the $629,865.43 donated in fiscal 2017.
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.