FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 18, 2023) – Kentucky farmers donated $735,815.88 to the Ag Tag Program for 2023. The total represents the largest amount ever donated in a single year since the program began and it brings the total of donations to more than $5 million since 2016, Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Ryan Quarles announced today.
“This year’s record-breaking Ag Tag donations is a true example of our Kentucky farm families giving back to their communities,” Commissioner Quarles said. “Through the years, the Ag Tag Program has succeeded in providing much-needed funding for promoting agriculture and educating Kentucky’s youth on the importance of agriculture in our everyday lives. Your generosity will help ensure Kentucky agriculture has a bright future.”
The voluntary donations are divided equally among Kentucky 4-H, Kentucky FFA, and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA). This year, each group will receive $245,271.96. Since 2016, Kentucky FFA and Kentucky 4-H have received, collectively, nearly $3.5 million from donations made by ag producers renewing their vehicles each year.
Half of the 4-H and FFA donations are returned to local councils and chapters, meaning leaders in the donating community are able to use those funds to cover the cost of 4-H and FFA camp and other leadership programs for youth. County 4-H councils regularly uses Ag Tag dollars to provide 4-H camp scholarships and travel for life-changing, educational experiences to enable local 4-H youth to grow as leaders and engaged citizens. FFA chapters were free to use the money to meet the greatest needs in their community, such as FFA jackets for students in need or helping cover travel costs to leadership events.
The KDA uses its share of the Ag Tag funds for various programs 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.
“The Kentucky FFA Foundation is thrilled with the 2023 Ag Tag campaign. The Ag Tag program has become a vital part of accomplishing our vision of Growing Leaders, Building Communities & Strengthening Agriculture,” said Sheldon McKinney, executive director of the Kentucky FFA Foundation. “We give half of the funds given in each county back to the local chapters in that county, so this means a greater impact in each community. We also use Ag Tag donations to fund Ag Achievers grants, which offer much-needed technology upgrades to agriculture classrooms across Kentucky, provide travel scholarships to our students competing at National FFA Convention, and provide a great experience for our students at the Kentucky State Fair. It is a simple way to give back and collectively, make a huge impact on the future of Kentucky agriculture.“
“Kentucky 4-H is truly grateful to all those who chose to make the $10 donation and support youth across the commonwealth,” said Melissa Miller, executive director of the Kentucky 4-H Foundation. “The Ag Tag dollars are instrumental in supporting 4-H programs in all 120 counties. These funds allow youth to thrive by growing, developing, and engaging in their communities.”
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.