4-H To Certify New Tractor Operators


Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County’s 4-H Program will conduct a Tractor and Farm Machinery Safety Certification Course for area youth age 14 and older.  Sessions include both classroom- style lessons and hands-on opportunities for all participants.  Experiences learned in this course will help prevent injury and save lives.

The HOOA (Hazardous Occupations Order in Agriculture) law states, in summation, that all 14-15 year old youth who are seeking employment in the agricultural industry must receive the training as required by the U.S. Department of Labor. The only exemption for youth working on they’re own farm. The HOOA was originally promulgated in January 1968. When youth become 16 years of age, this law no longer applies to their employment; however certification provides valuable knowledge and safety tips for all ages. You can learn more about state regulations by visiting the U.S. Department of Labor’s Youth and Labor: Agricultural employment webpage: www.dol.gov/dol/topic/youthlabor/agriculturalemployment
Agriculture is a very dangerous industry and at many agricultural worksites there are hazards associated with:

-Equipment operation

-Crop and livestock production

-Agricultural Buildings

-Chemical use and storage

-Highway transportation


Tractor Safety certification Training will prepare a student for dealing with the hazards and risks in agriculture. Certification also provides youth greater opportunity in obtaining employment. Cornell Cooperative Extension’s 4-H Tractor and Farm Machinery Safety Course instructs participants in a safe and welcoming environment that fosters growth, insight and learning. This course not only allows youth to drive a tractor and trailer, but requires that they also learn the correct and safe way to hook-up to farm equipment, back up trailers, and drive farm machinery. Each student will complete their certification requirements, which include classroom time, homework and 10 hours of driving experience. Driving experiences for this course is annually made possible with the help of the following equipment dealerships Z&M Ag and Turf in Falconer and Clymer; Rammelt & Sons in Westfield;  and Hewes BOCES in Ashville.


Instructors for this course will be Dennis Wright, Workforce Development Facilitator at Hewes BOCES in Ashville, with driving portions taught by Rodney Ruttenbur of Z & M Ag and Turf in Falconer, Dave Wade of Z & M Ag and Turf in Clymer, and Dan Rammelt of Rammelt & Sons in Westfield. A special thank you to volunteer instructors and coordinators continually help make this years Tractor and Farm Machinery Safety Course opportunity.