Two members of the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health will provide tractor safety courses in June and July in nine cities across Nebraska. The program is a partnership with the Nebraska Extension Tractor Safety & Hazardous Occupations Courses. Teens 14 or 15 years of age who work on farms are encouraged to register.
Nebraska Extension is part of the University of Nebraska Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, which also cooperates with counties and the United States Department of Agriculture.
Federal law prohibits youth under 16 years of age from working on a farm for anyone other than parents or legal guardians. Certification received through this course grants an exemption to the law allowing 14- and 15-year-olds to drive a tractor and to do field work with specific mechanized equipment.
The most common cause of agricultural-related death in Nebraska is overturned tractors and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). Extensive training on tractor and ATV safety occurs during in-class lessons with hands-on activities. Instilling an attitude of ‘safety first’ and respect for agricultural equipment are primary goals of the course.
The course includes classroom instruction, which will cover the required elements of the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program and hands-on participation, concluding with a written test. To receive certification, students must demonstrate competence in hitching and unhitching equipment and driving a tractor and trailer through a standardized course.
Classes begin at 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and end times will vary, depending on the number of participants.
Dates, locations, and site coordinator phone numbers are below.
May 30 & 31 – Kearney Fairgrounds (402) 308-236-1235
June 1 & 2 – Auburn Fairgrounds (402) 245-4324;
June 6 & 7 – Valentine Fairgrounds (402) 376-1850;
June 13 & 14 – North Platte West Central Research and Extension Center (308) 532-2683;
June 15 & 16 – Gering Legacy Museum (308) 632-1480;
June 19 & 20 – Wayne Fairgrounds (402) 584-2234;
June 22 (includes online component) – Gordon Fairgrounds (308) 327-2312;
June 23 (includes online component) – McCook Fairgrounds (308) 345-3390;
July 10 & 11 – Grand Island College Park (308) 385-5088.
Participants must submit registration forms at least one week before the course. Cost of the course is $60, which includes educational materials and instruction, supplies and lunches. For more information, contact the Extension Office of the location where student will attend.