Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ag Tag

(a tid bit of info from one of the handouts from the Sustainability Fair 2010 at NSCC, Lynn)

Agricultural Officials Urge Residents to Support the Massachusetts Farming Community by Purchasing an "Ag Tag"

Specialty license plate raises money to support the agricultural industry.  With the planting and growing season in full swing, state agricultural officials are encouraging Massachusetts residents to support the Commonwealth’s farming industry by purchasing a specialty agriculture license plate.

The Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) is promoting the agricultural specialty license plate, known as the Ag Tag, at a host of venues this summer, including farmers’ markets, state fairs, and agricultural workshops. Launched in 2007, the Ag Tag creates a guaranteed source of funds for agricultural organizations. Proceeds from plate sales go to the Agricultural Trust Fund, which finances farm-related projects such as efforts to modernize milk processing facilities at dairy farms, provide business plans to farmers interested in extending their growing season, and help flower growers save energy in their greenhouses.
The license plate features a colorful picture of a cow surrounded by produce and reads “Go locally grown!” The DAR’s goal is to meet the requisite number of registrations – 1,500 – by the end of 2009 to insure that the plate will go into production and be available for residents for years to come.
“This specialty plate is a valuable funding resource for the agricultural community and a moving billboard designed to increase awareness for the importance of maintaining a strong agricultural presence in Massachusetts,” DAR Commissioner Scott Soares said. “Supporting agriculture in this way helps ensure that the Commonwealth’s agricultural future remains vibrant for generations."

The cost for an Ag Tag is $40, plus a $20 fee when residents swap their existing plates at the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles.  $28 of this is tax deductible.

Questions?  Contact ag.tag@state.ma.us  or 617-626-1703

Benefits of Purchasing this plate:
- preservation of 520,000 acres of open space and beauty
- 13,545 jobs and the value of local agriculture has on our economy
- shrinking our carbon footprint by reducing the distance of food travel to markets
- fresther and better tasting food!

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