When it’s time to renew your license plates, the next generation of farmers in Mercer County are hoping you’ll remember them.
The Kentucky Ag Tag program is one of the best fundraising opportunities for both state and local chapters of 4-H and FFA. The tag only costs $10, but the money raised supports all of 4-H’s local specialty clubs and activities.
Last year, only 531 of 2,350 potential tags—22.6-percent of vehicle owners who had previously purchased Ag Tags—renewed their tags, raising $5,310 to be split by Mercer County 4-H, Mercer County and Burgin FFA and Kentucky Proud.
While that’s a modest improvement over the past four years, Mercer still lags behind other counties in both the amount of money being raised and the number of people participating.
Last year, Boyle County raised $11,390 in donations with 64-percent of people buying tags while Jessamine raised $13,130 with 76-percent of people renewing their Ag Tags. If everyone in Mercer renewed their Ag Tag this year, it would raise $23,500, which would give all three programs $7,833 each.
Dana R. Anderson, the 4-H and youth development agent at the Mercer County Extension Office, said employees at the County Clerk’s office ask if people want to renew their Ag Tags.
Often, people say no without thinking, she said.
The 4-H and FFA Foundation are providing the clerk’s office with posters to remind Mercer County residents to think before they say no. Anderson said the money raised goes directly back to the community.
“This isn’t for salary,” she said. “It’s for scholarships and programming. This money directly supports the kids.”
4-H paid out $3,210 in scholarships in 2017. The organization also supports everything from the Youth Citizenship Academy to the Mercer County Youth Investment Sale to the Mercer County Fair 4-H Floral Hall to the Kentucky Fort Harrod Beef Festival.
The money raised by the Ag Tag also funds school enrichment activities like Ag Exploration Day for 3rd grade students to Earth day for 5th grade students to Truth and Consequences for 9th grade students to American Private Enterprise System for 11th grade students.
Currently, 2,150 youth in Mercer and Burgin schools belong to 4-H.
For more information, call Dana Anderson at the Mercer County Extension Office at 734-4378.
To learn more, check out this week’s issue of the Harrodsburg Herald.