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Specialty license plates honor Minnesota agriculture and raise program funds

Communities that KARE celebrates a statewide initiative driving home the importance of agriculture and cultivating a new generation of farmers.

SAINT PAUL, Minnesota — "I think there's so much beauty and symbolism in the plate." 

Usually, it's the scenery that grabs a driver's attention. But soon, specialized license plates will catch eyes. 

"When you think about that rising star, you can't help but be hopeful and look to that brightness of a future day," explained Val Aarsvold, the Executive Director of the Minnesota FFA Foundation, as she showcased the new plate design.

KARE 11 Sunrise caught up with Aarsvold and Jennifer Skuza, the state's 4-H director at the CHS Miracle of Birth Center at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

Both Aarsvold and Skuza agree, we're entering a new era for agriculture in Minnesota, with the FFA and the 4-H at the forefront. 

"We all need food, whether it's animal-based or plant-based. And we want young people to really be at the forefront and to be thinking about agriculture as a field that they can go into in the future, and really make a change," said Skuza.

The specialty plates culminate four years of work and nearly 400 designs submitted by kids 5-18 years old.

The FFA represents the rising star and the hands holding a seedling nod to the 4-H. "That represents one of our slogans, which is 'hands to larger service,'" said Aarsvold.

The organizations unified to get the plates on vehicles and raise enough funds through sales to grow programs.

"We want young people to really know how to be agricultural thinkers. Agricultural learners as well as change agents and innovators within this field," said Skuza.

The plate is available to order at a deputy registrar's office or through the mail using the special plate application form. 

The cost of the plate is $15.50 plus the minimum contribution of $20.00 and an $11.00 filing fee.  

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