Written by: Jessica Behnham
The majority of proceeds from each $30 license plate bearing a cotton boll will fund scholarships for students studying in the field of agriculture. Image courtesy TXDOT.
Texas residents can help students at Texas Tech University earn a degree in the field of agriculture by purchasing license plates bearing an image of a cotton boll.
The program was made possible through an agreement between the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
and the Texas Cotton Producers, Inc., who distribute the money between Texas Tech and Texas A&M University to provide scholarships to agriculture students.
The plate costs $30 on top of the normal vehicle registration fee; $22 is used to provide scholarships, and the remaining $8 goes to the State of Texas for administering the program.
Aaron Nelsen, communications director for the Texas Cotton Ginners Association
, said purchasing a cotton boll plate is a great way to support the future of the cotton industry.
“Buying a cotton boll plate is an easy way to make a small investment in the future of our industry,” Nelsen said. “Many of our industry leaders today are products of one or in some cases both of these universities, so it makes sense that the money be invested there. In addition, you get a license plate that will be quite distinguished from any other.”
The agreement between Texas Cotton Producers and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board was signed in January 2004. The following year, $1,750 was awarded to students at Texas Tech and Texas A&M.
In 2008, Texas Cotton Producers made $17,016 available for scholarships at both universities. Nineteen scholarships were awarded – eleven at Texas Tech and eight at Texas A&M.
“We are extremely grateful to the Texas Cotton Producers for the vision and implementation of the cotton boll license plates,” said John Burns, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
. “The scholarship money generated by these unique license plates will provide much needed monetary support for our students.”
For residents who live in a cotton–growing region, the plate may be available at the local tax assessor or collector’s office. Forms can also be downloaded from the TXDOT Web site