UNMC, Nebraska Extension, Announces Hazardous Occupations Safety Classes and Hands-on Events for Teens

Nebraska Extension and Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Public Health, announced plans for annual “tractor safety” training courses scheduled at six sites across Nebraska in late May. and early June. Students will complete the first day of the course either by attending a hands-on event at one of two locations or online through the eXtension Foundation campus website. The hands-on events will take place May 24 in North Platte and May 26 in Grand Island. Upon successful completion of the hands-on event or online course and tests, the required driving test will be offered at six Nebraska locations from May 25 through June 10, 2022.

Teenagers 14 or 15 years old who work on farms, or others interested in learning more about safe farming practices, are encouraged to enroll in the certification course. Students under 14 are not eligible for certification, but hands-on events are open to all members of the community. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

Federal law prohibits children under 16 from using certain equipment on a farm unless their parent or legal guardian owns the farm. However, certification obtained through the course grants an exemption from the law allowing 14- and 15-year-olds to drive a tractor and perform field work with certain mechanized equipment.


Susan Harris, an extension educator at the University of Nebraska, reports that a common cause of agriculture-related injuries and deaths in Nebraska is rollovers from tractors and ATVs. She pointed out that this course is designed to train students to avoid these incidents as well as many other farm and ranch hazards.

The hands-on event and online course will cover the required elements of the National Tractor and Machinery Safety Curriculum, including the quizzes that students must pass to attend the driving portion of the training. Once a student is registered, they will receive instructions, materials, course handouts, and a link to the online course if they are not attending one of the two hands-on events.

On-site driver training and testing will include a test drive, equipment operation and ATV safety lessons. Students must demonstrate proficiency in hitching and unhitching equipment and operating a tractor and trailer in a standardized course. Instructors will also provide training on safe behaviors and laws for ATVs, utility vehicles and other off-road vehicles.

The course instructors are members of the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health: Aaron Yoder, Ellen Duysen, and Risto Rautiainen; and Nebraska Extension educators Randy Saner, Ron Seymour and John Thomas.

The cost of the course is $25 and includes course materials, e-learning link (if applicable), and supplies. Payment will be made at the time of the driving test. Only checks and cash are accepted.

Hands-on training, ride dates, site locations and site coordinator contact details are below:

Practical Safety Days

May 24 – Lincoln County Extension Office, 348 West State Farm Rd., North Platte

Contacts: Randy Saner [email protected] and Vicki Neidhardt (308) 532-2683, [email protected]

May 26 – Raising Nebraska, 501 East Fonner Park Rd., Grand Island

Contact: Sarah Polak, (308) 385-3967, [email protected]

Tractor driving days

May 25 – Lincoln County Extension Office, 348 West State Farm Rd., North Platte

Contacts: Randy Saner [email protected] and Vicki Neidhardt (308) 532-2683, [email protected]

June 6 – Akrs Equipment, 49110 US Hwy. 20 to O’Neill

Contact: Debra Walnofer, (402) 336-2760, [email protected]

June 7 – Legacy of the Plains Museum, 2930 Old Oregon Trail #8500 in Gering

Contact: Stacy Brown, (308) 632-1480, [email protected]

June 8 – AKRS Equipment, 44098 Hwy. 2, Broken Bow (Todd Sutherland)

Contact: Denise Daake, (308) 872-6831, [email protected]

June 9 – Adams County Extension, 2975 South Baltimore Ave, Hastings

Contact: Ron Seymour [email protected] and Twila Bankson 402-461-7209, [email protected]

June 10 – Cass County Fairgrounds, 8400 144th St, Weeping Water

Contact: Sandy Prall, 402.267.2205, [email protected]

If you have any questions, please contact the administrator listed above on your conduct site or contact Ellen Duysen [email protected].

To register, visit https://cvent.me/44ExVl

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