University of Minnesota Extension is offering Youth Tractor and Farm Safety Training at four locations including Rushford, Minn., this summer. The youth tractor and farm safety certification program provides youth 14 years and older the opportunity to learn about safe equipment operation and general farm safety. Students who complete the program are eligible to receive a U.S. Department of Labor certificate of training, required for 14 and 15-year-olds who wish to work on farms as employees.
Youth under the age of 16 cannot legally perform these tasks as an employee unless the youth has completed the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program (NSTMOP) and received certification, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Hazardous Occupations Order in Agriculture. In Minnesota, there are, legally, no requirements for a child working on their family’s own farm. Although it is not required by law, it is highly recommended that youth working on their own family farm also complete certification to establish a strong understanding of safe tractor operation and other safety practices on the farm.
This hybrid training includes an online course on the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program learning objectives and two days of in-person training that include tractor operation instruction in a safe learning environment. The online course takes 8-10 hours to complete and can be done at the participant’s own pace. After completing the online course, participants attend a two-day in-person training with hands-on instruction. All sections of the online course must be completed prior to attending an in-person session.
Local in-person training days are scheduled for Aug. 1-2, at Hammell Equipment and American Legion Post 94 in Rushford. The cost to take this course includes all materials and meals on training days. Scholarships are available to ensure all students who want to complete the training can do so.
Contact Katie Drewitz or Tanner Marquardt for more information. Additional information and registration can be found at z.umn.edu/TractorSafety. Residents in Fillmore and Houston counties can call 507-765-3896 or 507-725-5807.