FRANKFORT, Ky. — Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles applauded six Kentucky high school student-athletes involved in agriculture for being named the 2023 Kentucky High School Athletic Association-Kentucky Department of Agriculture Ag Athletes of the Year.
“Athletics teach you commitment, self-discipline, teamwork, leadership, and resilience. These are the same skills needed to find success in agriculture,” Commissioner Quarles said. “In addition, these skills can also translate to a successful academic career. At the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, we recognize a solid educational foundation can create great success in life, whether that education is through a four-year institution or a trade school. We are pleased to join our partners at the KHSAA to reward scholarships to the commonwealth’s best young athletes and agriculturists.”
The 2023 Ag Athletes of the Year were named at a ceremony during the KHSAA Boys’ Sweet Sixteen® State Basketball Tournament on March 17 at Rupp Arena in Lexington. Two $2,000 scholarships and four $1,000 scholarships were awarded. The honorees are:
- Outstanding Ag Athlete of the Year: Laken White, Caldwell County ($2,000)
- Outstanding Ag Athlete of the Year: Joe Braxton Baker, Monroe County ($2,000)
- Carson Gilliam, Calloway County
- Emma Harvey, Fayette County
- Landon Groves, Muhlenberg County
- Briley New, Pulaski County
The 2023 Ag Athlete Award winners are selected by a committee after the application deadline. The one-time scholarships, payable to an institution of higher learning, are awarded to high school seniors involved in athletics and agriculture who plan on continuing their education at a two- or four-year institution or trade school.
The scholarships are supported by the “Ag Tag” Fund, which is financed by voluntary donations from Kentucky motorists when they buy or renew their farm vehicle license plates. Last year, Kentucky farmers donated $606,223 to the Ag Tag Program. The scholarships are just one way the funds are used to support Kentucky’s agriculture youth.
— Kentucky Department of Agriculture