Dunn County UW-Extension and Colfax Middle/High School are offering the Wisconsin Safe Operation of Tractor and Machinery Certification program on June 5-8, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Colfax Middle/High School (601 University Ave., Colfax).

The purpose of the program is to teach youth about tractors, farm machinery, and the various aspects of farm safety. Tractor and farm machinery operators need to be knowledgeable and safety-smart. Studies show that many farm accidents are caused by inexperience, carelessness, haste, fatigue, stress, or poor judgment or attitude. These problems, and practical tractor operation, will be discussed by program instructors.

With certification, youth ages 12 or older will be allowed to operate tractors or self-propelled implements of husbandry on a public road, under the direction of their parent or guardian according to Wisconsin state law. Youth ages 14 or older will be certified to be employed or work without pay on a farm other than their family farm, according to U.S. federal law.

Upon successful completion of this 24-hour program, the student may receive certification in both the state and federal tractor and machinery programs, depending upon their age. The safety program is directed toward youth who are 12-16 years of age; however, older youth may enroll in this program. Youth must be at least 12 years of age the day that the class begins. The Wisconsin state certification is good for four years. The U.S. federal certification will be issued when the youth reach their 14th birthday if they are not 14 when taking the class.

To register by the May 19 deadline, contact the Dunn County UW-Extension office or visit dunn.uwex.edu for the registration form. A fee of $30 is charged for educational materials and registration.

For more info, contact the Extension office at 715-232-1636; Katie Wantoch, Agriculture Agent, at katie.wantoch@ces.uwex.edu or Jason Hausler, 4-H Youth Development Agent, at jason.hausler@ces.uwex.edu, or John Nelson, Colfax High School Agri-Science instructor at 715-962-3155, ext.2130 or nelson@colfax.k12.wi.us

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Dunn County News editor

Barbara Lyon is the editor of The Dunn County News in Menomonie, WI.

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