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4-H Club offers tractor operator program

Published 6:28pm Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Michigan State University Extension will offer a tractor operator program through 4-H Youth Development, beginning Jan. 15.

Successful completion of the 4-H tractor operator program provides a certificate of training from the U.S. Department of Labor required for operation of a 20 power take-off horse power or greater, garden or agricultural tractor, by 14- and 15-year-old youth employed on property not owned, leased or operated by a parent or legal guardian. Certification is also utilized by youth who exhibit and participate in local contests, parades and festival activities.

The nine-week course will be taught from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays Jan. 15 through March 12. This schedule includes educational sessions, some driving practice, final written and driving tests and graduation program.

In addition, participants will need access to a computer that is compatible to use a Windows-based compact disc for part of the assignments to reach the 24 hours of required training to be certified.  A minimum of 24 hours of instruction is required and participants must be 14 years of age by the date of the driving test to be eligible for federal certification.

Educational topics include: farm/ranch hazards and safety; tractor component basics; pre-operational procedures; operation basics; tractor-powered implements; self-propelled agricultural equipment; operating on public roadways; basic maintenance and repair; ATV/utility vehicle safety; and first aid and emergencies. The program will meet at the Old Baroda Township Hall in Baroda. Cost is $40 per person, but partial scholarships may be available.

Registration is required through the Berrien County MSU Extension Office by Jan. 10. The office is located at 1737 Hillandale Rd. in Benton Harbor. Call the office at (269) 944-4126.

For questions, contact Deb Barrett through the previous listed information or by e-mail at The program must have at least six participants registered to be held, with a maximum of 20.

MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status.

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