Nebraska Extension and Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Public Health, announced plans for the annual “tractor safety” training courses.

The courses are scheduled at eight sites across Nebraska in late May and early June.

Federal law prohibits children under 16 years of age from using certain equipment on a farm unless their parents or legal guardians own the farm. However, certification received through this course grants an exemption to the law allowing 14- and 15-year-olds to drive a tractor and do field work with certain mechanized equipment. Certification is earned by completing a Hands-On Safety Day with written test (Day 1), then completing the Tractor and Equipment Safety Training with driving exam (Day 2).

Successful completion of a Certification Days 1 and 2 will result in certification for 14- and 15-year-olds to be employed on farms and ranches.

Day 1 will cover the required elements of the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program, including quizzes which students must pass to attend the driving portion of training. Once a student is registered, they will be sent instructions, materials, course paperwork and a link to the online course, if they will not be attending in-person.

Day 2 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).

The cost is $40 and includes educational materials, the online learning link (if applicable), supplies, lunch and snacks at in-person trainings. Payment will be made via credit card if registering online or via check if registering by mail.

Youth under age 14 can register for and attend Certification Day 1 if accompanied by an adult. They will not be able to drive equipment, attend Day 2, or become certified.

Students under 14 must register, but they will not be charged the registration fee.

Certification Day 1: Hands-On Safety Day with Written Test

• May 21 – Lincoln, Logan, McPherson County Extension Office, 348 West State Farm Road, North Platte, NE

Certification Day 2: Tractor and Equipment Safety Training with Driving Exam

• May 22 – Lincoln, Logan, McPherson County Extension Office, 348 West State Farm Road, North Platte, NE

Certification Day 1 (or online module) must be completed, with written exam, before attending Day 2.

To register, visit: https://www.unmc.edu/publichealth/cscash/outreach/farm-safety-days.html 

Contact Tiffany Hoover at thoover6@unl.edu or 308-532-2683 with questions.

Extension is a division of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska Lincoln cooperating with counties and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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