4-H tractor safety and certification course to begin in late February

Course for youth ages 14 to 15 seeking employment on farms

— The 2013 Agricultural Safety and Certification Program, for youths Ages 14 to 15 who want to work on a farm, is scheduled to begin in late February through the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County 4-H Program in Morrisville.

It is against the law for an employer to hire a person less than 16 years of age to operate farm tractors or machinery. An exception is made for the 14 or 15 year-old who has completed this approved safety course. Even though family members and those over 16 are not required by law to take the course, it is a good idea for any potential new operator.

The objective of the course is to reduce the number of injuries and deaths resulting from farm-related accidents, especially with young people in Madison County. Those who satisfactorily complete the course will receive the certificate which allows them to work for hire at age 14 and 15. Employers must request a copy of this certificate from young employees.

Interested students must be 14 in order to take this course for a certificate. Again this year, a special emphasis will be offered involving lawn mowers and other lawn, yard and garden equipment.

In order to qualify for the certificate, participants must attend scheduled class sessions, complete the workbook provided, pass a written exam and complete the practical driving exam.

The 4-H Tractor Safety and Certification Course class fee will be $10 for the manual and printed materials. The fee will be collected at the first session. Pre-enrollment is required.

This program is a cooperative effort of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County, the Madison County FFA Agricultural Programs and Morrisville State College.

To enroll in the course or for more information, contact Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County 4-H Program, PO Box 1209, Eaton Street, Morrisville, NY 13408, or call 684-3001.

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