Youth Tractor Safety Courses Offered Across Nebraska

Youth Tractor Safety Courses Offered Across Nebraska

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

Federal law prohibits youth under age 16 from working on a farm for anyone other than their parents.  Youth who receive course certification are exempt and will be allowed to drive a tractor and to do field work with mechanized equipment.

The most common cause of death in agricultural accidents in Nebraska is overturn from tractors and all-terrain-vehicles (ATVs), 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." 

Class Format

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 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 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.

Class Dates and Locations

Classes consist of two days of instruction plus homework assignments. Classes are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Dates and locations include:

  • Kearney — May 22-23, Fairgrounds
  • Concord — May 28-29, Haskell Ag Lab
  • North Platte — June 2-3, UNL West Central Research and Extension Center
  • Valentine — June 5-6, Fairgrounds
  • Gering — June 12-13, Farm and Ranch Museum
  • Grand Island — June 16-17, College Park
  • Mead — June 19-20, Ag Research and Development Center


Pre-registration is strongly encouraged at least one week before a location's start date to the Extension Office at the course site. Cost is $60, which includes educational materials, testing, supplies, lunches and breaks. For more information, contact the extension office in the host county or Sharry Nielsen at (308) 832-0645, For a registration form, see the program flyer.

April 1, 2014

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