Required Youth Tractor Safety Training at 12 Sites This Summer
Youth Tractor Safety and Hazardous Occupations Courses will be held at 12 locations this year for 14- and 15-year-olds who will be working on a farm other than their own. Anyone older than 15 years is also welcome to take the Nebraska Extension class, but those under age 14 are not eligible.
The class includes extensive training on tractor and ATV safety with classroom lessons and hands-on activities. Instilling an attitude of safety and a respect for agricultural equipment are primary goals of the course.
Federal law prohibits youth under 16 years of age from using specific equipment on a farm unless parents or legal guardians own the farm. Certification received through a course provided by Nebraska Extension grants an exemption to the law, allowing 14- and 15-year-olds to drive a tractor and work with certain mechanized equipment.
The most common causes of agricultural-related deaths in Nebraska are overturned tractors and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). Employing anyone uncertified under age 16 is a liability risk for farmers if those children operate such equipment.
The first day includes classroom instruction and hands-on demonstrations, concluding with a written test. Classroom instruction will cover the required elements of the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program. Students are required to pass the written test before taking the driving test. Day two includes lessons on equipment operation and ATV safety and a physical driving test. To receive certification, students must demonstrate competence in hitching and unhitching equipment and driving a tractor and trailer through a standardized course. Instructors will offer an ATV simulator experience to learn about safe behaviors and laws for ATVs and UTVs. Students will also need to complete homework assignments for the second day.
Course instructors are staff members of the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health: Aaron Yoder, Ellen Duysen, Daniel Kent, and UNMC student Lucy Finocchiaro.
Two locations, Gordon and McCook, will offer online course instruction to replace the first day of the two-day course. Students complete this at their convenience before attending the driving component of the course on-site.
Cost of the course is $60, which includes educational materials, instruction, supplies, and lunches.
Print and complete a registration found here or at kearney.unl.edu, and submit with payment to the appropriate Extension office for the site location at least one week before the course. (Call the number listed for the particular site for further registration details.)
All on-site classes begin at 8 a.m.; end times will vary, depending on the number of participants.
|Training Site||Contact||Training Dates|
|Fairgrounds, Geneva||(402) 759-3712||May 22-23|
|Fairgrounds, Hastings||(402) 461-7209||May 24-25|
|Fairgrounds, Kearney||(308) 236-1235||May 29-30|
|Fairgrounds, Auburn||(402) 274-4755||May 31-June 1|
|Evangelical Free, Ainsworth||(402) 387-2213||June 5-6|
|Plains Equipment, O’Neill||(402) 336-2760||June 7-8|
|WCREC, North Platte||(308) 532-2683||June 12-13|
|Legacy Museum, Gering||(308) 632-1480||June 14-15|
|Fairgrounds, Wayne||(402) 375-3310||June 19-20|
|Fairgrounds, Gordon||(308) 327-2312||June 21 (Day 1 online)|
|Fairgrounds, McCook||(308) 345-3390||June 22 (Day 1 online)|
|Fairgrounds, Weeping Water||(402) 267-2205||June 29-30|