NEBRASKA -- The University of Nebraska Medical Center recently announced that registration for the tractor and farm equipment course is now open.

There are seven different locations in Nebraska that will be offering a safety training course. The dates available will be from May 22 to June 8.

Teens that are 14- or 15-years-old that work on farms or are interested in learning about tractor and farm equipment safety practices are able to register. The course costs $35 and includes educational materials and supplies. Participants can pay at the time of registration or before the driving exam. Only checks and cash are accepted.

Children under 16-years-old are legally prohibited from using specific equipment on a farm unless their parents or legal guardians own the farm. However, certification received through the course grants an exemption to the law allowing 14- and 15-year-olds to drive a tractor and to do field work with specific mechanized equipment.

The first day of the course includes a hands-on event at one of two locations or online through the eXtension Foundation Campus website. The hands-on events are on May 22 in North Platte and May 30 in Grand Island. The required driving test is after the hands-on evet. The test will take place at seven different locations in Nebraska from May 23 through June 8.

The hands-on event and the online course will cover the required elements of the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program. This includes quizzes that students must pass to in order to take the driving portion of the training. Once a student is registered, the coordinators will send instructions, materials, course paperwork and a link to the online course if they do not attend one of the two hands-on events.

The onsite driving training and exam will be a driving test, equipment operation and ATV safety lessons. Students have to show their understanding in hitching and unhitching equipment and driving a tractor and trailer through a standardized course. Instructors will offer education on emergency preparedness, personal protective equipment, and safe behaviors and laws for ATVs, utility-task vehicles (UTVs) and other off-road vehicles (ORVs).

The University of Nebraska Extension and the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health is sponsoring the course.

The hands-on safety days will be May 22 at the Lincoln County Extension Office in North Platte; and May 30 at Raising Nebraska in Grand Island.

The tractor driving days will be May 23 at the Lincoln County Extension Office in North Platte; May 31 at Raising Nebraska in Grand Island; June 1 at Legacy of the Plains Museum in Gering; June 2 at AKRS Equipment in O’Neill; June 6 at Adams County Extension in Hastings; June 7 at the Cuming County Fairgrounds in West Point; and June 8 at the Cass County Fairgrounds in Weeping Water.