Action Needed: House Bill Filed That Would Eliminate the Agricultural Education (FFA) License Plate
Mar 23, 2017 by Ronnie Simmons
FFA Advisors and supporters – we need your help!
As you know, we are very fortunate to have the support of the Agricultural Education (FFA) speciality license plate program. Over the past 10+ years, over $275,000 has been generated through this program to support agriculture students and teachers in our state. While this is great success, the potential is there for an even greater return - but only with your help.
As you might know, we are required by law, to sell a minimum of 1,000 plates annually in order to maintain the program. Recently, the Florida House of Representatives considered a bill (House Bill 1375) that would raise the minimum number of plates per year to 4,000. Unfortunately, this could mean the end of the FFA/Agricultural Education License Plate. Additionally, the bill replaces all speciality plates with a small organizational decal that would be placed on the generic Florida plate, thus eliminating the full color specialty plates that motorists enjoy.
What are we asking you to do?
- We are asking you to fill out a brief survey regarding House Bill 1375 which proposes replacing the full color license plate with a small decal. We feel that the proposed decal program will discourage motorists from purchasing a license plate and decrease plate sales and revenue generated for our programs. You can access the brief survey at: http://myfloridaspecialtyplate.com/survey.html
- We are asking you to email (or call) your elected representative or senator to pledge your support for the Agricultural Education License Plate and remind them that House Bill 1375 will have a negative impact on the future of FFA and Agricultural Education. Specifically, if the minimum sales threshold is raised from 1,000 to 4,000 plates per year, our specialty place will no longer exist. Note: Please remember to refer to our plate as the Agricultural Education plate, rather than the "FFA" plate.
If you don’t know your Representative, find them here: http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/myrepresentative.aspx
In recent years, our plate sales has been as follows (approximately):
- 2007 - 734 plates sold
- 2008 - 1,190 plates sold
- 2009 - 1,436 plates sold
- 2010 - 1,200 plates sold
- 2011 - 1,340 plates sold
- 2012 - 1,286 plates sold
- 2013 - 1,378 plates sold
- 2014 - 1,425 plates sold
- 2015 - 1,628 plates sold
- Total - 11,617 plates sold ($290,000 approximately)
From these numbers, we hope you also share our concern for the future of this valuable asset. Please understand that this is not a program that we can afford to lose. Because speciality plates are written into law by the legislature, it is very difficult to obtain this sort of support. We simply cannot afford to allow this program to fall by the wayside. If we lose this program, it is likely lost forever.
What else can you do to help?
- Be sure that you have an FFA license plate on your own vehicle.
- Encourage your juniors and seniors to purchase a plate this month.
- Make contact with businesses in your area who own fleet vehicles.
- Ask each alumni member to consider purchsing an FFA plate for their vehicles.
- Remind motorists that these plates can be put on livestock trailers, boat trailers, camper trailers, etc.
- Tell anyone with a pick-up truck or other heavy truck to purchase an FFA plate when they renew their tag at the end of the year.
- Ask your adminstrators to consider purchasing a license plate.
- Approach your school district about putting an FFA license plate on school district vehicles, if possible.