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SDSU Extension Hosts Youth Hazardous Occupation Safety Training in Agriculture (HOSTA)

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Youth planning to work on a farm or ranch this summer are encouraged to attend one of four Hazardous Occupations Safety Training for Agriculture (HOSTA) courses hosted by SDSU Extension this summer.

The HOSTA programs aims to help teach those young employees about the dangers associated with working on the farm and ranch.

"The agricultural industry is the only industry in the U.S. that allows youth under the age of 16 to be legal employees. Because this in an industry using equipment that can be unsafe, we encourage youth to be aware of risks and take these courses," said John Keimig, SDSU Extension Youth Safety Field Specialist.

The 2018 HOSTA courses will be held May 24-25 in Winner, June 5-6 in Aberdeen, June 7-8 in Clear Lake and June 12-13 in Rapid City.

The trainings will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the first day at both locations and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the second day. Lunch is provided to all participants.

Registration is required

A test will be held the second day, those passing the test will receive certification. The written exam covers 48 core task sheets. The test must be passed with a minimum of 70 percent in order for the participant to advance to the driving portion of the training.

The trainings this year are being offered in a format that all youth, ages 12 to 18 are welcome the first day. We encourage them to attend to learn the information, if they are working on their families farm/ranch.

Only youth ages 14 to15 will be able to go through the entire course and gain certification to work on a farm/ranch not owned by their family. Those age 16 and over, do not need to certify to work off their family's enterprise.

A minimum of 10 participants are required for each location. Please sign up early. Each location will evaluate attendance the week before the event and inform participants if there are changes.

Upon registration, participants will be sent a training manual. This will also include a list of the information that the students will be responsible for before arriving on site as part of the independent study portion of training.

Registration is due three days prior to each event.

Attend Because It's the Law

Since 1969, the United States Department of Labor has declared many agricultural tasks to be hazardous to youth younger than 16. Currently, the law states that any individual who is ages 14 to 15-years-old must be trained on the safe operation of tractors, farm machinery and other hazardous activities in the agricultural industry.

One exception to the rule is youth who are employed on their home farm. When youth reach 16 years of age this law no longer applies to their employment.

Program details

The National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program is a project the United States Department of Agriculture Research, Education and Extension Service's HOSTA Program.

HOSTA was developed to respond to the need for resources to inform and support the Youth Farm Safety Education and Certification Regulation, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The training consists of independent study as well as hands-on participation and classroom instruction.

Independent study materials will be sent to youth ages 14 to 18. SDSU Extension personnel will be coordinating the training.

A registration fee is required to cover the cost of participation and materials. Fees vary depending on the participant's age. Each age group will receive different class materials: youth, ages 12 to 13 will receive the manual; youth, ages 14 to 15 will receive a manual and certification if they pass the written and driving test and youth, ages 16 to 18 not receive any materials because certification is not required.

If you have questions, questions on HOSTA training for Agriculture, please contact Keimig at 605.688.4167 or by email.