Jason Lilley, UMaine Extension sustainable agriculture professional, teaches young people safe tractor operation practices in April 2021. Photo courtesy of University of Maine Cooperative Extension

ORONO — In April, 28 participants — young people, new farmworkers and tractor owners — successfully completed the 20-hour federally certified tractor safety course offered by University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

Participants learned about the risks of farm work and equipment operation, and gained hands-on experience in safe tractor operation and basic maintenance skills. Youth ages 14–15 were certified to operate equipment on farms owned by nonrelatives, opening up new job opportunities for them. 

The hybrid course was taught online with hands-on learning at Gorham Public Works and Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield. Additional support was provided by Bassett Healthcare of New York, Beauregard Equipment in Scarborough, and Jeff Grant of Findview Farm, Gorham.  

For more information and to request a local tractor safety training, contact Jason Lilley at 207-781-6099 or jason.lilley@maine.edu. More farm safety resources also are on the UMaine Extension agriculture website.