Kentucky farmers donated $613,246.37 to the Ag Tag Program in the 2019 fiscal year ended June 30, slightly more than the total for fiscal 2018 and the second-highest total in the history of the program, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announced.

"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," Commissioner Quarles said. "We are deeply grateful to every Kentucky farmer who made a voluntary donation. Your generosity will help ensure that 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). 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 Ag Tag program has become foundational to the Kentucky FFA Foundation and the 169 FFA chapters across the state," said Sheldon McKinney, executive director of the Kentucky FFA Foundation. "It enables us to award much-needed grants for local programs to enhance student opportunities with current technology and equipment. The program allows us to give travel scholarships to students that earned the opportunity to compete at the National FFA Convention and supports regional FFA banquets across the state. These donations -- $10 at a time -- add up to make an impact you can't measure in dollars."

"Ag Tag dollars are instrumental in supporting 4-H programs in all 120 counties. Giving allows local 4-H programs to grow youth as leaders, build their communication skills, and develop them into active, engaged members of their community," said Melissa Miller, executive director of the Kentucky 4-H Foundation. "Thank you to everyone who chose to make the $10 donation in support of Kentucky's youth."

The 2019 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.

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