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Agriculture Commissioner James Comer this week said he is actively working to repair bridges and reopen lines of communication to agriculture groups across the state.
Comer was in Hardin County Tuesday promoting a new initiative instituted by his office to provide revenue streams to the Kentucky 4-H, Kentucky Future Farmers of America and the Kentucky Proud program, urging individuals to offer a $10 donation when they renew farm license plates. The money donated will be split between the three agencies and all money donated in Hardin County would go back to Hardin County chapters, Comer added.
“I believe farmers will step up to the plate and donate if they know it’s going to a good cause,” he said.
A small contingent of local FFA and 4-H members joined Comer at the clerk’s office as he makes stops around the state promoting the initiative.
Comer said the lines of communication between the Department of Agriculture, 4-H, FFA and county clerks have been strained in recent years but he is trying to mend fences and ensure that money generated from the funds is used appropriately and benefit agencies it is supposed to.
Hardin County Clerk Kenny Tabb said the farm license plate program has been surrounded by controversy and confusion so he is happy to know 4-H, FFA and Kentucky Proud will benefit.
“You being here and the young people who came out will drive the point home today,” Tabb told Comer.
Comer said he always enjoys speaking to members of 4-H and FFA because he bolstered his leadership skills while showing cattle as a child with 4-H and serving as an FFA officer. The Kentucky FFA has about 15,000 members in almost 140 chapters while more than 200,000 youth are involved in Kentucky’s 4-H programs, according to a news release issued by Comer’s office.
Kentucky Proud, the official state program for farm and food products produced in state, is supported by tobacco settlement money, which is dwindling. Comer said this program could create a new revenue stream to pay for the promotion and marketing of Kentucky Proud.
Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or email@example.com.