UNMC, Nebraska Extension Offer Tractor Safety Course to Teens

Teens participating in a tractor safety course

UNMC, Nebraska Extension Offer Tractor Safety Course to Teens

The most common cause of agricultural-related death in Nebraska is 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.

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 after a course provided by Nebraska Extension grants an exemption to the law, allowing 14- and 15-year-olds to drive a tractor and to do field work with certain mechanized equipment.

Members of the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health in the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health will provide a tractor safety course in May and June of 2020 in 11 towns across Nebraska in partnership with Nebraska Extension. The course provides extensive training on tractor and all-terrain vehicle safety with a variety of hands-on activities. Making safety a priority and respecting agricultural equipment are primary goals of the course.

Teens 14 years of age or older, who work on farms, are encouraged to register for the Nebraska Extension Tractor Safety & Hazardous Occupations Course. Anyone under age 14 is not eligible to take the class.

Cost of the course is $60 and includes educational materials, instruction, supplies, and lunch. Classes begin at 8 a.m. or 9 a.m., depending on location, and end times vary depending on the number of participants.  If classes do not fill to the minimum of 10 participants, an option will be offered to do Day 1 training online and Day 2 in person.

Location Date Site Coordinator
Ord, fairgrounds May 26 & 27 (308) 728-5071
Wayne, fairgrounds May 28 & 29 (402) 375-3310
O’Neill, Plains Equipment June 1 & 2 (402) 336-2760
Gordon, fairgrounds June 3 (first day is online) (308) 327-2312
Ainsworth, Evangelical Free June 4 & 5 (402) 387-2213
Geneva, fairgrounds June 9 & 10 (402) 759-3712
North Platte, West Central Research, Extension and Education Center June 11 & 12 (308) 532-2683
Kearney, Buffalo County Extension Office June 16 & 17 (308) 236-1235
Hastings, Adams County Extension Office June 18 & 19 (402) 461-7209
Gering, Legacy Museum June 29 & 30 (308) 632-1480
Weeping Water, fairgrounds July 1 & 2 (402) 267-2205

The first day of class will cover the required elements of the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program, hands-on participation, concluding with a written test which students must pass to attend the second day of training.

The second day of training will include a driving test and equipment operation and ATV safety lessons. Students must demonstrate competence in hitching and unhitching equipment and driving a tractor and trailer through a standardized course. Instructors will also offer education about safe behaviors and laws for ATVs, utility-task vehicles (UTVs), and other off-road vehicles (ORVs).

Instructors for the course are members of the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health: Aaron Yoder, Ph.D., Ellen Duysen; UNMC graduate student Alyssa Damke; and Nebraska Extension educators Troy Ingram, Randy Saner, Chandra Giles, and John Thomas.

For more information or to register, contact the appropriate Extension office above for guidance on where to send the registration form.