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 May through July in 12 towns across Nebraska. In partnership with Nebraska Extension, the course provides extensive training on tractor and all-terrain vehicles safety with a variety of hands-on activities.
Instilling an attitude of ‘safety first’ and respect for agricultural equipment are primary goals of the Nebraska Extension Tractor Safety & Hazardous Occupations Course for those 14 and 15 years old who work on farms. Those under age 14 are not eligible to take the course.
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 the course 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.
The most common cause of agricultural-related deaths in Nebraska is overturned tractors and ATVs, said Susan Harris-Broomfield, University of Nebraska Extension educator in Kearney and Franklin counties.
Cost of the course is $60 and includes educational materials and instruction, supplies and lunch.
The first day of class will cover the required elements of the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program, hands-on
The second day of training will include a driving test and equipment operation and ATV safety lessons. Classes begin at 8 a.m. both days.
Students will demonstrate competence in hitching and unhitching equipment and driving a tractor and trailer through a standardized course. The ATV simulator will be at most sites and will demonstrate experience about safe behavior and laws for ATVs and utility-task vehicles (UTVs).
Instructors for the course are members of the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health: Aaron Yoder, Ph.D., Ellen Duysen; UNMC graduate students Dan Kent, and Jill Oatman; and Nebraska Extension educators Troy Ingram, Randy Saner and John Thomas.
End times vary depending on the number of participants.
Dates, training site locations and site coordinator phone numbers are below:
May 20 & 21 – Geneva,
May 22 & 23 – Nelson, Fairgrounds (402) 225-2092;
May 28 & 29 – Grand Island, Extension Office, (308) 385-5088;
May 30 & 31 – Kearney, Extension Office, (308) 236-1235;
June 4 (first day is online) – Gordon, Fairgrounds, (308) 327-2312
June 5 (first day is online) – McCook, Fairgrounds
June 6 & 7 – Ainsworth,
June 11 & 12 – O’Neill, Plains Equipment, (402) 336-2760;
June 13 & 14 – North Platte, West Central Research and Extension Center,
June 18 & 19 – Gering, Legacy Museum (308) 632-1480;
June 20 & 21 – Wayne, Fairgrounds (402) 375-3310;
July 1 & 2 – Weeping Water, Fairgrounds, (402) 267-2205.
For more information or to register, contact the appropriate Extension Office above. The registration form can be found at kearney.unl.edu.