Minnesota Soybean Business

New license plate pay tribute to MN agriculture

May-June 2022

Minnesotans can now use a new license plate to pay tribute to the state’s storied agriculture legacy, while also supporting the next generation of agriculture leaders.

The new license plate designs were introduced during winter 2022. FFA members and 4-H’ers joined Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen and Assistant Agriculture Commissioner Patrice Bailey for the event, along with leaders from both organizations.

“We’re excited to have this new license plate that highlights the diversity of Minnesota’s ag economy,” Commissioner Petersen said. “This is an opportunity for Minnesotans to show their commitment to agriculture while supporting our young leaders in FFA and 4-H.”

A contest was held last fall to solicit ideas on the license plate concepts. Inspired by nearly 100 sketches from 4-Hers and FFA members, the plate draws upon imagery from both organizations. The hands holding seedlings symbolize the 4-H pledge of “my hands to larger service,” while the rising sun is a “token of a new era in agriculture” honored in FFA ceremonies.

At the April board meeting of the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, the board passed a motion to put the ag-themed license plates on all Council vehicles.

“It’s a small but important gesture to show we’re supporting agriculture and the next generation of farmers,” Council Director Ben Storm, who proposed the motion.

Leaders of both groups voiced their appreciation for the bipartisan legislation passed in 2021 that created the new plate. The legislation was supported by numerous Minnesota farm advocacy groups, including the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association. The plate became available to Minnesota residents in February and will cost $15.50. A minimum $20 contribution is due with plate purchase and each year afterward at vehicle registration renewal. The funds go toward supporting FFA and 4-H members in Minnesota. The new plate is available at local Driver and Vehicle Services locations throughout Minnesota.

“Agriculture is woven into 4-H’s past, present and future and it’s open to all youth in Minnesota. We plan to broaden and deepen young people’s knowledge and involvement in agriculture so that they act on their ability as agricultural learners, leaders, innovators, global citizens and agents of change,” said Jennifer Skuza, associate dean for Youth Development at University of Minnesota Extension and Minnesota 4-H State Director.

Minnesota FFA Foundation Executive Director Val Aarsvold said the license plates will help her organization continue to grow the next generation of agricultural leaders.

“The Minnesota FFA Foundation ensures that students enrolled in agriculture, food and natural resource classes have access to premier leadership, personal growth, and career success, regardless of their economic situation,” Aarsvold said.

FFA is in 220 rural, urban and suburban schools statewide. 4-H is an out-of-school, hands-on learning program for students


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