The University of Wisconsin Extension is hosting the course for anyone 12 years of age or older
By Diego Flammini
Young farmers interested in learning about tractor and general farm safety can enroll in a tractor and general farm safety course.
The University of Wisconsin (UW) Extension is hosting the course on Mondays and Tuesdays in October.
Participants will learn about several topics, said George Koepp, agriculture outreach specialist with UW Extension in Columbia County.
“We try to give them as much information as we can about preventing farm accidents, first aid, ATVs and UTVs, operating tractors and equipment on the road, identifying hazards and grain bin safety,” he told Farms.com.
The course will have different components to it.
On Mondays and Tuesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., attendees will participate in virtual classes. There’s also a workbook to complete, videos to watch and a written test.
Only students who pass the written test can move onto the in-tractor driving test.
Typically, all the attendees would meet in one location for this portion, but because of COVID-19, instructors will travel to individual farms to reduce contact with others.
In Wisconsin, anyone 14 years of age and older who has tractor safety certification can operate a tractor on public roads. Without the certificate, a person must be at least 16.
Anyone under 14 isn’t allowed to drive a tractor on a public road.
Extension staff, 4-H leaders, ag instructors and law enforcement personnel will deliver the course.
Having a collaborative approach can help with student engagement, Koepp said.
“It’s better if you’ve got different presenters,” he said. “We’ve got people who can draw on real-world experience and who can share that with these young people. We want them to develop good farm-safety and tractor-operating habits, much like you’d want them to have good vehicle-driving habits.”
The course costs $25 and starts on Oct. 5.
Anyone interested in enrolling or more information can contact the Columbia County Extension Office at 608-742-9688.