Extension Youth Tractor Safety Courses

By Brandy VanDeWalle, UNL Fillmore County Extension Educator

Nebraska Extension Tractor Safety/Hazardous Occupations Courses will be offered at seven locations in Nebraska during May and June. Any 14 or 15-year-old teen that plans to work on a farm other than his/her parents’ should plan to attend. Federal law prohibits youth less than 16 years of age from working on a farm for anyone other than his or her parents or guardian. Certification through the course grants an exemption to the law allowing 14- and 15-year-olds to drive a tractor and to do field work with mechanized equipment.
The most common cause of death in agriculture accidents in Nebraska is overturn from tractors and all-terrain-vehicles (ATVs), according to farm fatality surveillance data. Tractor and ATV overturn prevention are featured in the class work. Instilling an attitude of ‘safety first’ is a primary goal of the course, according to class instructors, where youth have the chance to learn respect for agricultural jobs and the tools involved.
Classes consist of two days of instruction plus homework assignments. Classes are from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day. Class dates and locations closest for our area include:
— May 23-24, Fairgrounds, Kearney
— June 20-21, Fairgrounds, Wayne
— June 23-24, College Park, Grand Island
    Pre-registration is strongly encouraged at least one week before a location’s start date to the Extension Office at the course site. Cost is $60, which includes educational materials, testing, supplies, lunches and breaks. For more information, contact Aaron Yoder at (402) 552-7240, aaron.yoder@unmc.edu or Ellen Duysen at (402) 552-3394, ellen.duysen@unmc.edu.  
The first day of class will consist of intensive classroom instruction with hands-on demonstrations, concluding with a written test that must be completed satisfactorily before students may continue driving tests the next day. Classroom instruction will cover the required elements of the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program.  Homework will be assigned to turn in the next day.
The second day will include testing, driving and operating machinery. Students must demonstrate competence in hitching equipment and driving a tractor and trailer through a standardized course as well as hitching PTO and hydraulic systems.
Ag Safety Day Reminder
Current first through sixth graders are invited to attend Progressive Agriculture Safety Day on Thursday, May 26, 2016 at the Fillmore County Fairgrounds. Registration and consent form is REQUIRED by all youth who participate. This can be found at fillmore.unl.edu or at the Fillmore County Extension Office. April 28th is early bird registration at only $3 per child that includes a t-shirt, lunch, snack and goodie bag. After April 28th registration increases to $5 per youth in order to participate. For more info or to register, call 402-759-3712 or email brandy.vandewalle@unl.edu.

Leave a Reply