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4-H Tractor Operator Program for youth

Michigan State University Extension will offer the 4-H Tractor Operator Program (TOP) beginning Jan. 25, 2023. Successful completion of 4-H TOP provides a certificate of training required for operation of a 20 PTO HP or greater, garden or agricultural tractor, by 14- and 15-year-old youth employed on property not owned, leased or operated by a parent or legal guardian. Certification is also used by youth who exhibit and participate in local contests, parades and festival activities.

The 9-week course will be taught on Wednesdays, 7–9 p.m., Jan. 25 through April 5, 2023. The driving exam will be held on April 7, 2023. This schedule includes educational sessions, some driving practice, final written and driving tests, and graduation program. In addition, participants will need some study time for out of class assignments to reach the 24 hours of required training to be certified. We require a minimum of 25 hours of instruction and participants must be 14 years of age by the date of the driving test to be eligible for certification.

Educational topics include: farm/ranch hazards and safety, tractor component basics, pre-operational procedures, operation basics, tractor-powered implements, self-propelled agricultural equipment, operating on public roadways, basic maintenance and repair, ATV/utility vehicle safety, first aid and emergencies. The program will meet at the Old Baroda Township Hall, 9081 First Street, Baroda.

Registration is required through the Berrien County MSU Extension Office by 5 p.m., Jan. 23. Cost is $50 per person; payment can be done via cash, credit card or check. Checks are to be made out to Michigan State University. The Extension Office is located at 1737 Hillandale Road, Benton Harbor, MI 49022-9630. The program must have at least six participants registered to be held, with a maximum of 20.

For questions, please reach out to the Berrien County MSU Extension Office at 269-927-5674 or Kelly Stelter, 4-H Program Coordinator at grandtke@msu.edu.

Persons with disabilities may request accommodations by calling the Berrien County MSU Extension Office at 269-927-5674 by Jan. 23, to ensure sufficient time to make arrangements. Requests received after this date will be met when possible.

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