County tractor safety class planned for children and farm spouses

Spouses or children who have been newly pressed into service as a farm-equipment operator-or have been operating equipment for several years-have an opportunity to better understand and avoid farm-related hazards.

The one-day Marion County Tractor Safety Class is being offered April 6 by the Kansas-State Research and Extension-Marion County office in cooperation with the Marion High School agricultural education and Future Farmers of America program.

The event provides detailed instruction on the safe use of tractors. Interested youth and adults are asked to register for the class by contacting the Marion County Extension Office. Class participants will complete an assignment prior to class. Cost for materials is $7.

Although required for youth 14-15 years of age who want to work for a farmer other than their parents or guardians, the class has much to offer other family members, too.

Many accidents occur in the first hours of operating a machine. A new operator-male or female, young or old-lacks familiarity with equipment hazards. It takes a while for new operators to get the feel of an implement. Until this happens, they may become confused and make poor decisions.

While this training will not offer hands-on experience, it will provide the knowledge needed to become a safe and careful operator. Applying this knowledge reduces unsafe situations for operators as well as the abuse of equipment.

The training is also recommended for farm women who do not expect to operate equipment. It will help them recognize unsafe situations and activities and to suggest safer ways of doing things to family members or employees.

Rickey Roberts is the Marion County agent for the K-State Extension Office in Marion.

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