2015 Tractor Safety

2015 Tractor Safety

Extension Offers Tractor Safety Course for Teens

Nebraska Extension Tractor Safety/Hazardous Occupations Courses will be offered at seven locations in Nebraska in May and June.  Any 14- or 15-year-old who plans to work on a farm other than his/her parents' should plan to attend.

Federal law prohibits youth under 16 years of age from working on a farm for anyone other than their parents or guardian. Certification through the course grants an exemption to the law allowing 14- and 15-year-olds to drive a tractor and do field work with mechanized equipment.
UNL Extension tractor safety course in 2014
Mark Hinze, former Nebraska extension educator, covers the pre-operation inspection with students attending the 2014 Tractor Safety Course at Kearney.

Tractor Safety Course Schedule

  • May 27-28, Kearney, Buffalo County Fairgrounds
  • June 1-2, Valentine, Cherry County Fairgrounds
  • June 5-6, Lincoln, Lancaster County Event Center
  • June 8-9, Gering, Farm and Ranch Museum
  • June 11-12, North Platte, UNL West Central Research and Extension Center
  • June 15-16, Wayne, Wayne County Fairgrounds
  • June 17-18, Grand Island, College Park

The most common cause of death in agriculture accidents in Nebraska is overturn from tractors and all-terrain-vehicles (ATVs), said Sharry Nielsen, Nebraska extension educator. Tractor and ATV overturn prevention are featured in the class work.

"Instilling an attitude of ‘safety first' is a primary goal of the course," Nielsen said, "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. to 5 p.m. each day.

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 second day. Classroom instruction will cover the required elements of the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program. Homework will be assigned on the first day 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.


Pre-registration is strongly encouraged at least one week before a location's start date to the Extension Office at the course site. (Get contact information.) Cost is $60, which includes educational materials, testing, supplies, lunches and breaks.  For more information, contact the local Extension Office or Sharry Nielsen at (308) 832-0645, snielsen1@unl.edu.

Sharry Nielsen
Nebraska Extension Educator

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