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NDSU launches farm safety camps for youth

NDSU launches farm safety camps for youth

By Scout Nelson

In response to alarming statistics revealing the high risk of fatal injuries among young agricultural workers, North Dakota State University Extension is taking proactive steps.

With agricultural fatalities being 7.8 times more likely than in other industries, and a significant portion of these tragedies involving machinery and livestock, NDSU Extension's farm and ranch safety coordinator, Angie Johnson, highlights the urgent need for specialized training for the youth.

NDSU Extension's youth farm worker certification training not only complies with the U.S. Department of Labor's Hazardous Occupations Order in Agriculture (HOOA) for 14- to 15-year-olds but also offers an immersive learning experience.

Scheduled at various prestigious campuses across North Dakota, the camps cover crucial topics like safe tractor and machinery operation, livestock handling, ATV safety, and emergency procedures.

Set in a structured environment, these camps enable attendees to engage in activities such as tractor-driving obstacle courses and hands-on livestock sessions, simulating real-life farm scenarios.

Training in ATV certification, skid steer operation, roadway safety, farm first-aid, and emergency preparedness ensure a well-rounded education.

The program delves into farm stress management, legal aspects of youth work in agriculture, and equipment maintenance, fostering a comprehensive understanding of farm safety.

Upon completion and passing of a final exam, participants will be certified to operate tractors over 20 horsepower and various pieces of machinery, a credential that extends beyond family-owned farm operations.

While certification for work on family farms isn't mandatory, it represents a valuable educational opportunity for all young individuals engaged in or considering a future in agriculture.

NDSU Extension encourages youth from all counties in North Dakota to seize this opportunity, with a registration deadline of April 15. The $300 camp fee includes a comprehensive safety education that could be invaluable for young workers.

For more details on registration and sponsorship opportunities, interested individuals can visit the official NDSU website.

This initiative represents a crucial step towards safeguarding the future of agriculture by equipping its youngest members with the skills needed to navigate the industry's inherent risks.

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Categories: North Dakota, Education, Rural Lifestyle, Farm Safety

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