Youth Farm Safety Camps Set

Three dates and locations are available for North Dakota youth.

Youth will be able to learn about safe farm and ranch practices during three statewide Farm Safety Camps that North Dakota State University Extension is hosting this year. Camping dates and location are:

- May 23-25, Williston State College Campus, Williston

- May 30- June 1, NDSU Campus, Fargo

- June 26-28, Bismarck State College Campus, Bismarck

The camps cover the basics of safe tractor and machinery operation, general farm hazards, livestock handling, use of personal protective equipment, and basic first-aid and first-response procedures.

"These camps are designed to help teens become familiar with the most serious hazards associated with operating tractors and agricultural machinery, along with the fundamentals of safe operation and maintenance," says Angie Johnson, NDSU Extension farm and ranch safety coordinator, who is collaborating with NDSU Extension agents to conduct these camps.

Participants will receive hands-on experience and learning opportunities, including:

- Safe tractor operation, including a tractor driving obstacle course

- Livestock handling

- All-terrain vehicle safety, including an ATV driving course

- Skidsteer safety

- Roadway safety using rules of the road

- Farm first-aid and emergency preparedness

- Laws related to youth working in agriculture

- Equipment operation and maintenance

- Farm stress management skills

- Farm hazard identification

Youth will have opportunities for hands-on learning, including utilizing farm equipment on obstacle courses to simulate actual farm situations. Livestock handling sessions will allow participants to interact with animals and learn more about animal behaviors and safety when working with animals. ATV certification and Stop the Bleed certification are also included.

Federal law under the Hazardous Occupations Order for Agriculture requires that youth under the age of 16 receive certification of training prior to employment on farms operated by anyone other than a parent or guardian. The program is for youth 14 and 15 years old. Youth who are 13 can participate, and the license they receive will become valid when they reach their 14th birthday.

By successfully passing this program, participants will receive official certification to operate tractors over 20 horsepower and some pieces of farm machinery when working for a farmer or rancher outside the family.

"While this certification is not required for youth to work on their own family farm, we encourage all teens who plan to work on a farm to participate in this program," says Johnson. "These camps are designed to strengthen communication skills between parents, employers and teen workers on the farm. Farm safety training prepares the next generation of the workforce with the safety skills needed to prevent injuries and fatalities on the job."

Camps are open to youth from all counties in North Dakota. Youth do not need to be enrolled in 4-H to participate.

Registration opens April 1. The deadline to register is April 30. The cost of each camp is $275. Registration for both camps can be found online at ndsu.ag/youthfarmsafety.

For more information regarding farm safety camp, please contact your local county Extension agent.

 

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