Youth attended a three-day tractor safety school put on by North Dakota State University Extension to prepare them for working on the farm.
This camp offers 12- to 15-year-olds a better understanding of farm machinery. It also allows youth ages 14 to 15 to be properly certified through the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program. This certification allows them to find work outside of their immediate family.
NDSU Extension agent Angie Johnson says that while youth can sometimes be expected to just know what to do, oftentimes learning from an outside source helps youth ask questions and understand safety basics.
“On a farm, it’s not fair to expect a 14-year-old to operate a quarter-million-dollar tractor, that’s not fair to the youth or the employer. This school gives students that opportunity to get behind the wheel with hands-on learning,” she explains.
The camp, held at the North Dakota 4-H Camp, is one of few ways youth can achieve the required 100 hours of instruction for this certification. Four NDSU Extension agents led the course: Angie Johnson, Rick Schmidt, Dan Folske and Jill Lagein.