Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer was the president of the Future Farmers of America for Kentucky when he was in high school.

Now, as one of the highest ranking farmers in the commonwealth, Comer wants to give back to the FFA and other organizations dedicated to training children to be the future of Kentucky’s agricultural industry.

Comer has been touring the state while encouraging farmers to donate money when they renew their farm license plates. The commissioner stopped at the Christian County Courthouse Wednesday morning. Before a small crowd of Christian County 4-H and FFA members, Comer held up the license plates and explained the program.

“We are on a 36-county tour this week. We started in Lawrenceburg … and we’re going around the state to all the bigger agriculture counties,” Comer said. “Our mission is to … inform people and remind people that the farm ag tag program is coming up.”

When farmers renew the license plates for their vehicles, they have the option of giving $10 to these agricultural groups. Comer explained that all of the money collected from the donations will be split evenly among 4-H, the FFA and Kentucky Proud, an organization which encourages people to buy Kentucky-grown foods.

“So we want to do everything we can to support 4-H and FFA,” Comer said. “4-H and FFA members are the future leaders of Kentucky, and we all want you to know that we’re proud of you all, we support you all.”

In addition to the members of the youth farming groups, state Rep. Myron Dossett, R-Pembroke, and Christian Judge-Executive Steve Tribble were in attendance to show their support for the donations.

Comer said the donation tour was an important task because groups like 4-H and FFA gave him the tools he needed to succeed, and he wanted to make sure other children in Kentucky had the same opportunities.

“The 4-H and FFA are two organizations … that mean a lot to me,” he said. “I wouldn’t be standing here today if it hadn’t been for the leadership skills I developed as a 4-H member, an FFA member.”

Skylar Simmons is taking advantage of those opportunities through his membership in 4-H. He was especially keen on taking advantage of getting out of school for a few hours.

Skylar, an eighth-grader at Christian County Middle School, joined 4-H because his grandmother was a member, and he said 4-H has helped him in school and in life by training him in agricultural practices and other skills.

“It’s helped me get to know what happens with the livestock,” he said.

REACH CARLA JIMENEZ at 270-887-3262

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