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Youth tractor safety training


Fri, Apr 30th, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

The twentieth-first joint annual youth tractor safety training is being planned for Tuesday, June 8, through Friday, June 11. The training sessions begin at 8:30 a.m. and will end at 2:30 p.m. each day. Brad Harguth, Caledonia Ag Instructor, has offered to host the training at Caledonia High School, Caledonia. Instructors include ag teachers: Tim Willette, Lanesboro High School; Dennis Rud, Mabel-Canton High School; Brad Harguth, Caledonia High School; Jerrold Tesmer, Extension Educator Fillmore/Houston Counties; and others may be joining us. Classroom instruction, videos, safety demonstrations, and actual tractor driving are key parts of the course.

Students must be at least 12. There is a $10.00 charge to cover the cost of the certificate and materials. Students are asked to bring a sack lunch. Beverages are provided at a nominal cost.

If you have any questions, please contact one of the ag instructors or the Extension Office. To enroll a student, contact the Fillmore County Extension Office at 507-765-3896.

A few years ago, Dr. John Shutske, University of Minnesota Extension Agricultural Safety & Health Specialist, working with a group from the U.S. and Canada, established guidelines on "How Old Should Kids be to Drive a Tractor?"

The checklist included:

•Height and length of arms and legs (can the child operate all controls?)

•Strength

•Vision

•Level of physical coordination (such as being able to run and bounce a basketball at the same time)

•Ability to remember and follow step-by-step directions

•Reaction time

•Knowledge of farm hazards and problem solving

•Training in safe tractor operation

•Risk-taking tendencies of the child

•Level of supervision available

If the child can fulfill all of the criteria, then at 12-13 years of age they may be able to handle a tractor with less than 70 horsepower.

Although this is not a competition, many of the youngest students become very discouraged when they are unable to do the same things as those students who are only a year or two older and are able to do very well. Parents need to give considerable thought to whether or not their child is ready to operate a tractor!

Youth ages 14 and 15, employed on a farm, should have a Tractor Safety Training Course, and have a "Certificate of Training" in accordance with the Child-Labor Requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Minors under age 16 working for their parents are exempt from this law. However, if your son/daughter age 12 and up, operates tractors or other equipment on your farm, we encourage them to participate in the tractor safety training.

Please register by Monday, May 17.

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