NASHVILLE – Tennessee’s Ag Tag license plate hit the streets 25 years ago and thanks to citizens who support agriculture in this way, 2021 has been a record-breaking year.
For this fiscal year, sales of the specialty license plate raised $487,000 to support Tennessee’s agricultural community with a focus on agricultural development and youth. The Ag Tag became available in 1996 and since then, $7.3 million has been gifted. Contributions include $55,000 each year to FFA, 4-H and the Governor’s School for the Agricultural Sciences. Ag in the Classroom receives $65,000 annually.
“The Ag Tag with its recognizable red barn is more than a symbol,” Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said. “The license plate has a real impact on agricultural programs for young people and for local farmers. When you put the Ag Tag on your vehicle, you are helping sustain agricultural and forestry development and leadership programs. The red barn conveys Tennessee’s rural heritage and the value we place on farming families.”
Programs to connect consumers with farm-direct products through farmers markets and restaurants that source local ingredients have also been launched with Ag Tag proceeds.
The Ag Tag idea was sparked by Tennessee Department of Agriculture staff members. “We wanted to recognize Tennessee’s agriculture heroes and contribute to the ag community,” Assistant Commissioner for Business Development Keith Harrison said. “That discussion resulted in the iconic red barn that inspired the Ag Tag and the Pick Tennessee Products logo,” Harrison said. “It’s rewarding to see after more than two decades that the Ag Tag supplies the next generation of farmers with valuable tools.”
The specialty plate is available via the MyTN app or from your county clerk. A list of MyTN services and download information can be found at www.tn.gov/mytn.html. For just $35 added to your county tag purchase or renewal, you can support farms and programs that strengthen Tennessee’s rural economies. Your county clerk can exchange your current license plate for Tennessee’s Ag Tag. Time remaining on any current registration will be credited to the new tag.
Funds collected from Ag Tag sales are administered by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture through the Tennessee Agricultural Development Fund to directly benefit agricultural youth organizations, agricultural and forestry awareness, education and marketing efforts and support for farmers markets.