4-H Tractor Safety program offered in northwest Michigan

Multi-week course intended for 14 and 15 year olds interested in farming.

Michigan State University Extension has set the dates and opened registration for its annual 4-H Tractor Safety Program. The multi-week course is catered toward 14 and 15 year-old youth who are interested in working on a farm. The course follows the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program (NSTMOP) curriculum. As the NSTMOP suggests, without this certification, fourteen and fifteen year-old students are not allowed to legally operate most farm tractors and powered machinery based upon the U.S. Department of Labor’s Hazardous Occupations Order in Agriculture. The course curriculum includes six modules: 1) Introduction, 2) Safety Basics, 3) Agricultural Hazards, 4) The Tractor, 5) Connecting and Using Implements with the Tractor, and 6) Materials Handling. The course involves a written test and a tractor operation driving test. Upon successful completion of the course, students will receive a U.S. Department of Labor certificate.

Students must attend all sessions and pass both the written and driving test to become certified.  The course will be held every Wednesday in April ( April 4, 11, 18 and 25) from 6:00-8:30 p.m. at the NW Michigan Horticultural Research Center, (6686 S. Center Highway, between Suttons Bay and Traverse City, Michigan in Leelanau County).  The mandatory written and driving test will be held on Saturday, May 5 from 8:30a.m. – 2:30p.m.  The cost is $85 per student, which includes the $20 4-H participation fee, classes, manual, certificate and lunch on test day.  Some scholarships are available if finances are an issue.  Youth must be 14 years of age by June 1, 2018.  Although 16-19 year olds are encouraged to apply, because space is limited, priority will be given to 14 and 15 year-olds. 

The registration deadline is March 23, 2018.  Registration is online only in a two-step process.  First, register and pay at https://events.anr.msu.edu/TractorSafety2018/, and second, become a 4-H member and create a profile online at https://mi.4honline.com. For more information, contact Rosali Collier Leelanau County 4-H Program Coordinator at collierr@anr.msu.edu or 231-256-9888.   

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