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Most common cause of ag-related fatalities in Nebraska is overturned tractors and ATVs.

May 20, 2014

2 Min Read

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Tractor Safety/Hazardous Occupations Courses will be offered at several locations in 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, says Sharry Nielsen, UNL Extension educator.


The most common cause of death in agricultural accidents in Nebraska, she says, is overturn from tractors and all-terrain-vehicles. Tractor and ATV overturn prevention are featured in the class work.

"Instilling an attitude of 'safety first' is a primary goal of the course where youth have the chance to learn respect for agricultural jobs and the tools involved, she says.

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.

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

Class locations and dates:
•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, [email protected].

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