UNL CropWatch May 6, 2011 UNL Extension Tractor Safety Courses in May and June

UNL CropWatch May 6, 2011 UNL Extension Tractor Safety Courses in May and June

May 6, 2011

UNL Extension Tractor Safety/Hazardous Occupations courses will be offered at seven locations in May and June. The course consists of two full days of instruction plus homework assignments.

Course Dates & Locations

  • May 26-27, Fairgrounds, Kearney
  • June 2-3, UNL West Central Research and Extension Center, North Platte
  • June 6-7, Panhandle Research and Extension Center, Scottsbluff (June 6) and Farm and Ranch Museum at Gering (June 7)
  • June 9-10, Evangelical Free Church, Ainsworth
  • June 13-14, Fairgrounds, Humboldt
  • June 16-17, UNL Tractor Test Lab, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln
  •  June 21-22, UNL Haskell Ag Lab, Concord

Classes are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The Scottsbluff class will convene June 6 at the UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center and June 7 at the Farm and Ranch Museum at Gering.

Federal law prohibits youth under 16 years from working on a farm other than their parents'. Course completion grants an exemption to the law. allowing 14- and 15-year-olds to drive a tractor and do field work with mechanized equipment. The course also is available for the safety training if room permits.

The most common cause of death in agriculture accidents in Nebraska is overturn from tractors and all-terrain-vehicles (ATV), said Sharry Nielsen, UNL 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."

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 the student 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 consist of 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 at your local extension office is strongly encouraged at least one week before the start date of a class. Cost is $60, which includes educational materials, testing, supplies, lunches, and breaks. For more information, contact the Scotts Bluff County Extension Office at 308-632-1480 or Sharry Nielsen at (308) 832-0645, snielsen1@unl.edu.

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