Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles appeared in Owensboro Friday to promote his 2021 Ag Tag campaign. Motorists who buy or renew their farm vehicle license plates can donate up to $10 to the Ag Tag Fund, which provides money for youth development and promotional programs.
Funds are shared equally among Kentucky 4-H, FFA and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
Half of the 4-H and FFA funds go back to the county where the Ag Tag is purchased. The donations go toward programming, awards and scholarships.
Quarles said the program kicks off every March. He said farmers who renew their plates are asked one simple question: “Would you like to invest in the future of Kentucky agriculture?”
“Most of the time, they say yes, and they donate $10 out of their back pocket for you all,” Quarles told a group of students at the Daviess County Courthouse. “Half of the money is raised right here in Daviess County and your clubs. So the more people we can get to participate, the more money comes right back here.”
The state’s 4-H and FFA programs use the money for outdoor camps and trips to the national convention, Quarles added.
Apollo High School FFA teacher Aaron Tucker said the donations received by his school’s program normally went toward an annual conference in Nashville. This year, Apollo’s FFA program will be using the donations for a variety of other expenses, as traveling was currently still on hold due to the pandemic.
Quarles encouraged the students to take photos and share them via social media to spread the word about the Ag Tag campaign. He also suggested asking farmers across the community to contribute.
“For those of us who’ve been elected before, this is the most persuasive and effective way to raise money — ask a farmer,” he said. “The best part about it is that you don’t even have to have a farm truck to make a donation.”
Last year’s Ag Tag campaign raised a total of $612,000 across the state of Kentucky, Quarles noted.
“So this year, we want to try and beat that record and get more money back in Daviess County,” he said.