Tractor Certification for minors
Need a tractor certification for my son that is 16 years old, he works for a local ranch here in Baker County, Oregon. We found scheduled classes on the west side of Oregon, but none here in Eastern Oregon. Why is there no classes on the Easy side of Oregon, especially where we are a major ranching and farming area of Oregon.
Baker County Oregon
Tractor safety training for youth has traditionally been handled through FFA programs in this region. A few years ago, we held a National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program community lead instructor training workshop in the region but turn out was low and no one from Baker County became a certified instructor. Trained instructors are able to use the official national curriculum materials and set up local training courses. Anyone interested in becoming a certified community lead instructor can take an online class at https://extension.psu.edu/national-safe-tractor-and-machinery-operation-program.
Please check with your local FFA instructors to see if they are offering youth tractor safety in their coursework. A regional training program could be organized if a core group of community lead instructors were available locally and there were enough students/youth interested in the training. There have been very few requests for this training on an annual basis (1-2 per year) but, regardless, OSU Extension did offer a youth training event for NE Oregon in June 2018, Unfortunately, only two local youth participated. A local farm equipment supplier stepped up to facilitate the event (and one of their employees became a certified NTSMOP instructor) which is another important component for delivering this type of training. A regional training event could be offered but will require more certified instructors and community involvement to ensure training opportunities on an annual basis.