SALEM, Ohio — Starting next month, Ohio farmers and horse lovers can outfit their automobiles with license plates that will let everyone know their interests.
Ohio House Bill 293, which goes into effect Aug. 14, allows Ohio motorists to purchase license plates depicting Ohio agriculture, Ohio sustainable agriculture, and Ohio’s horse.
The Ohio ag license plate is to be designed by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation with input from the state’s commodity organizations.
Income from the sale of the plates would fund a scholarship for agriculture students at any Ohio college or university.
A board of directors made up of representatives from agricultural groups including the Ohio Agriculture Council, corn growers and soybean associations, Farm Bureau, OSU College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and Ohio Young Farmers Association will oversee the scholarship.
The state department of agriculture is designing the Ohio Sustainable Agriculture plate.
Money received from the sale of the sustainable ag plate would go into the Agro Ohio Fund and be used to benefit sustainable agriculture markets through grant awards. Decisions on spending that money would be left to the director of agriculture.
Funds raised by the sale of Ohio’s horse plates will benefit the Ohio Coalition for Animals, Inc.
That group will design the plate and is authorized to use the money to support programs that provide care for unwanted, abused and neglected horses.
The new agriculture plates would be offered at county registrars’ offices for a $20 premium over regular license plate fees. The Ohio’s Horse plate calls for a contribution not to exceed $40.
Ohio offers dozens of specialty plates showcasing anything from 4-H, FFA and cattle to pro sports, universities, breast cancer and Freemasonry.
The legislation also provides a limiting factor for specialty license plates in the Buckeye State.
If fewer than 500 of any of the state’s specialty plates are registered in a given year, the state will discontinue offering that plate. No vehicle could then lawfully display the discontinued plate and must re-register with the state.
Previously, the state required at least 1,000 of each specialty plate be registered to stay in effect.