Kentucky 4-H is one of the most important and influential youth programs in our state and our county. Across Kentucky nearly 230,000 youth ages 9 to 19 learn about leadership, citizenship and life skills in “learn-by-doing” experiences such as communications and public speaking, through agriculture projects like livestock judging, science projects with robotics, 4-H camp, Teen Conference, and many other 4-H programs and activities.
Here in Logan County, nearly 200 young people are 4-H members and over 1000 are active in programs and activities such as the Shadow Riders Horse Club, Rabbit Club, Cooking Club, Teen Council, APES, Reality Store, Farm Safety Day, Logan County Fair, Steer Show, livestock events, school enrichment activities, after school 4-H clubs and activities, hands on workshops, 4-H Summer Camp, and much more. These 4-H programs provide opportunities to our youth and train the next generation of leaders for Kentucky’s communities.
Many of today’s farmers learned valuable lessons while growing up as members of the local 4-H. Now there is an easy way farmers can help support the local 4-H program that is so valuable to our community, our county and most importantly, our youth.
As you renew your farm license plates at the county clerk’s office, please make the voluntary $10 donation, a third of which goes directly to support 4-H programs and activities. I wanted to remind you now about the program since farm license plates are renewed in March.
The farm license plate donation program is supported by Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer. The money raised by the program is evenly split between Kentucky 4-H, Kentucky FFA, and Kentucky Proud, which promotes agricultural products raised, grown or processed in Kentucky by Kentuckians.
Last year, the Kentucky 4-H statewide share totaled $121,708.64. The Kentucky 4-H Foundation splits the donations between the county where the funds originated and the 4-H Foundation.
Half of the donations support programs right here in our county, making this a great opportunity for local 4-H councils, clubs and members to increase financial support for their programs. Last year, donations totaled over $1,400.00 in Logan County.
The other half of the donations used by the 4-H Foundation will support state level programs that many of our 4-H members participate in and furthers their positive experiences and opportunities for advanced leadership, citizenship, and life-skills development.
Making your voluntary $10 donation is an excellent opportunity for our agricultural community to support the youth of our community and help fund the programs that can make a lasting difference in their lives. Kentucky 4-H gives Kentucky’s young people the chance to participate in constructive, educational and fun activities that teach them the value of hard work, discipline and participation.
Kentucky 4-H youth are doing the right thing by breaking through obstacles while pushing our country, our state and our county forward by making a measurable difference right where they live.
But the program needs more participation. In 2012, more than two-thirds of Kentuckians who bought or renewed farm plates opted out of making a donation. Sadly, some of the lowest rates of participation were in agriculture-dependent rural counties. We can do better.
Kentucky 4-H has been given a tremendous opportunity by Commissioner Comer to raise significant funds to support 4-H. But the scale of this success will be up to all of us in the 4-H family and how we promote and encourage our friends, alumni, and communities to step up and support 4-H through the voluntary donation.
Please remember to make your voluntary $10 donation when renewing your farm license plates in March. It will make a difference in the lives of our youth.