The Youth Tractor and Machinery Safety Training is a program offered by UW-Madison Extension Buffalo County. This program is designed for youth ages 12 -15 and requires 24 hours of instruction for certification. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, measures were taken to move this annual program to a virtual platform in 2020. The program consisted of a combination of independent, virtual and in-person instruction.
This year, 23 participants registered for the virtual training. The class was taught by Carl Duley, Buffalo County UW-Madison Extension Agriculture Agent, who has been teaching the class for over 25 years.
Duley, along with Katrina Danzinger, Buffalo County Extension intern, used Zoom to live stream meetings that would have normally been held in person. The Alma Fire Department, DNR Warden Bob Jumbeck, and the Western Buffalo County Ambulance Service gave live streamed demonstrations to provide additional support and information to this program. These demonstrations were not only streamed live but were also recorded and transcribed for students to review if they didn’t get the chance to watch it live. Students were provided manuals and links to a tractor safety video series developed and recorded by Western Wisconsin Extension Agricultural Agents in 2015.
Federal rules require that testing be done in person, so small groups of 1-2 students met at a time to complete both their written exam and diving test. Thank you to Lindstrom Equipment Inc. for hosting the driving portion of the class again this year.