New tag helps students learn about agriculture

Alabama drivers have an opportunity to help farmers fill a lot of plates - license plates that is, with the purchase of the new Alabama Ag Tag. Proceeds from the new Ag Tag, which was designed and promoted by the Alabama Farmers Federation, support agricultural education in Alabama through the Ag in the Classroom Programs, Farming Feeds Alabama commercials and other agricultural projects throughout the state.

Alfa Farmers President Jerry Newby said programs supported by the Ag Tag have the potential to influence thousands of lives. “It can help put agriculture in a very favorable light with our youth, their parents and future generations,” he said.

Alabama Ag in the Classroom is an interdisciplinary educational program that promotes ag literacy for students in grade levels K-12. It was incorporated as a non-profit foundation in 1987 for the purpose of making students aware of the importance of agriculture in their daily lives. Hundreds of teachers attend free workshops on Ag in the Classroom. Those teachers use promotional material supplied free of charge in their classrooms which in turn reaches thousands of Alabama students each year.

“Teachers have one of the most important jobs in the world because they shape the minds of young people,” Newby said. “Because so few people work on the farm, it becomes more important that we share the story of agriculture and farming. Ag in the Classroom activities allow teachers to return to the classroom with that story and share it with their students.” State law requires that drivers complete Commitment to Purchase applications for 1,000 tags before May 31 or the new license plate will not be printed. Several hundred of the Ag Tags already have been reserved, but Newby encouraged farmers and non-farmers alike to go ahead and reserve their tag now.

Drivers will pay a $50 tax deductible fee for the tag when they complete the application. Each tag may be personalized with up to six characters. They will continue to use their current license plates until the new tags are printed and auto owners still will be required to pay normal taxes on their vehicle.

Drivers who pre-purchase their agriculture tag will be required to present a copy of the Commitment to Purchase form along with a receipt showing their payment of the $50 fee when they pick up their tags.

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