National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Classes Offered in the Panhandle

National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Classes Offered in the Panhandle

May 8, 2009

Nebraska's Farm Fatalities

  • In 2008, farm accidents killed 16 Nebraskans. They ranged in age from 8 years to adult.
  • Agricultural workers make up only 6.6% of Nebraska's workforce, but in 2002 they accounted for 33% of the state's workplace fatalities, according to a report by UNL Cornhusker Economics author Dave Aiken.
  • Nebraska farm fatalities have averaged almost 32 per year since 1969. Victims ranged in age from 1 to 99.
  • Historically, tractor rollovers have been the most common cause, but in recent years, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) or four-wheelers have replaced tractors for the dubious distinction.

UNL Extension will offer National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program (NSTMOP) training at six Panhandle locations this summer.

The training, which includes overturn safety for ATVs, is for 14- to 15-year-olds who want to work on farms other than their parents' or who just want the safety training. The classes meet federal and state requirements.

Training Schedule

  • May 28-29 in Gering at the Farm and Ranch Museum (FARM)
  • June 2-3 in Sidney at 21st Century Equipment
  • June 5-6 in Valentine at UNL Extension Office
  • June 10 in Gordon at 21st Century Equipment (first day only)
  • June 11-12 in Alliance at 21st Century Equipment
  • July 7-8 in Bridgeport at 21st Century Equipment

Upon satisfactory completion of the first day, students will be invited back for the second day for testing, a practicum, and driving. The second or testing day can be taken at any location where it's offered. Gordon will not be offering second day testing so qualifying participants will need to make arrangements to attend at another location.

Upon satisfactory completion of the testing day, a permit will be issued.

Federal Requirements for Youth Ag Workers

Federal law allows the employment of 14- and 15-year-olds for many agricultural tasks only after they have completed training. There is an exemption for those working on their parents' or guardians' farm. Producers who violate this law can be fined up to $10,000 for a first offense. A second offense can include the fine plus up to six months imprisonment.


For more information or to preregister, contact one of these host Extension offices:

  • Alliance (308-762-5616)
  • Scottsbluff (308-632-1480)
  • Bridgeport (308-262-1022)
  • Sidney (308-254-4455)
  • Rushville (308-327-2312)
  • Chadron (308-432-3373)

There is a $35 fee for materials, registration, and the first day meal. Participants should bring a sack lunch the second day. Preregistration is preferred to help in planning.

Training begins at 8 a.m. each day and will end by 5 p.m. Participants should dress for safety. This means full shirts and long pants with shoes that cover the ankles.

David Ostdiek, Communications Specialist
Panhandle REC, Scottsbluff
Bill Booker, Extension Educator
Box Butte County

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