Farming is a dangerous business. In fact, farming is one of the most dangerous jobs in the US. Every year, around one hundred youth are killed in farm work related activities. A lot of these deaths could have been prevented with better safety practices. Every year, Barton County, K-State Extension and Research provides a class in Hazardous Occupations Training to teach youth ages 13-18 about the Hazards of farm work, and how to create a safer working environment. Even though the class is offered for a larger age range, it is required for individuals 14-15 years old who will be doing farm work for people other than their parent or guardian. Registration is due April 20, and costs $15. Included in the fee, students will be provided materials for study, instructor training and lunch. In the class, participants will learn what practices increase the chance of injury, laws governing hazardous working conditions and the exceptions for agriculture, and how to stay safe on the farm while still being able to get the job completed efficiently. The classes will run from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 30, at Straub International and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 2, at Barton County Community College room T-186, in the CNH Training Facility. To be certified under law, the student will also need to complete 2 hours of practical training. With the instructor of his or her choosing, the student will also need to demonstrate his or her ability to safely drive a tractor. When all of the requirements are met, the student will receive their certificate of training. With this certificate, the boy or girl can legally work for their friends and neighbors, possibly earn a little spending money for themselves, and getting the experience they need to be safe, effective farmers later in life.
Alicia Boor is the Agriculture and Natural Resources agent for Barton County K-State Research and Extension. You can contact her by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 620-793-1910