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MONROE, MI --

Three Monroe County 4-Hers successfully completed a ten week training program in safe tractor and equipment operation.  Bryan Lingar of Newport, Jonathan Gaynier of Monroe and Gilbert Leightner of Erie all passed a fifty question written exam, a timed and graded tractor skills test and a timed and graded tractor and implement driving test.  This allows them to work on property not owned, leased or operated by their parent or legal guardian.

Classes were held at the Monroe County Farm Bureau office in Ida, Leckler’s of LaSalle, Carleton Farm Equipment of Carleton and J&R Tractor of Monroe.  Sponsors of the training program included the Monroe County Extension and 4H Office, the Ag Advisory Council, the Monroe County Farm Bureau Promotion and Education Committee, the Monroe County Fair Association and the Southeast Michigan Antique Tractor and Engine Association.

The National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program was developed and designed for 14 and 15 year-olds seeking employment in production agriculture.  This project is funded by the USDA, National Institute of Food and Agriculture and administered by Pennsylvania State University.

Youth aged 13 through 19 are eligible to sign up for the program.  Youth 16 and older do not need a certification but are welcome to participate in the program.  Youth 13 can participate in the program but are not eligible to receive a certificate.

The curriculum includes 24 hours of intensive instruction covering 48 core tasks.  14 and 15 year-old youth who complete the instruction and pass the written exam, skills and driving tests receive a certificate that allows them to work for hire in agriculture.

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