FRANKFORT -- Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles alerted Kentucky student-athletes that the deadline to apply for one of six scholarships and the honor of being recognized as a 2019 Kentucky Ag Athlete of the Year is only a few weeks away.

Student-athletes must apply online by Jan. 22. The program is a partnership of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA).

"Students who participate in athletics and work in agriculture must juggle work, sports, and studies to achieve their goals," Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. "This program is a way we can recognize their hard work and sacrifice while helping them continue their education."

"Our office is always looking for more ways to honor and recognize the hard work of student-athletes, and we are certainly appreciative of the Department of Agriculture for its sponsorship of this program," said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett. "We realize agriculture students have a lot of responsibilities to balance, and we are thrilled to be able to highlight them for their accomplishments."

To qualify, student-athletes must be Kentucky farmers or involved in agriculture and must plan to attend a college or university following graduation.

Two student-athletes - one male and one female - will be named Outstanding Kentucky Ag Athletes of the Year and will be awarded $2,000 scholarships. Four student-athletes -- two male and two female -- will be awarded $1,000 scholarships as Kentucky Ag Athletes of the Year. Winners will be announced at the 2019 Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys' Sweet Sixteen® basketball tournament in March at Rupp Arena in Lexington.

The scholarships are payable to an institution of higher learning. Funding for the scholarships comes from the KDA's "Ag Tag" program, which is funded by voluntary donations from Kentucky motorists when they buy or renew their farm vehicle license plates. No state taxpayer dollars will be used to fund the scholarship awards.

To apply, go to khsaa.org/ge83-agriculture-athlete-of-the-year-scholarship-application/.

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