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South Dakota Ag News Headlines
HOSTA Dates Set for Youth Farm and Ranch Workers
South Dakota Ag Connection - 04/19/2017

SDSU Extension will be conducting two Hazardous Occupations Safety Training for Agriculture courses May 25-26 in Philip and May 31-June 1 in Mitchell. Youth planning to work on a farm or ranch this summer are encouraged to attend.

"If youth are 14 or 15 and working on a farm or ranch that is not their families they are required by law to attend a training," said John Keimig, SDSU Extension 4-H Associate. "Because agriculture work can be dangerous, we encourage all youth who plan to engage in agriculture work to attend the training."

The trainings will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the first day at both locations and 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. the second day.

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. Those under 14 can also attend but will not be able to take the written or driving test.

The Philip course will be held at the American Legion Hall (West Main Street) and the Mitchell event will be held at the Davison County Fairgrounds (3200 W Havens Ave).

"The agricultural industry is the only industry in the U.S. that allows youth under the age of 16 to be legal employees," Keimig said. "The HOSTA programs aims to help teach those young employees about the dangers associated with working on the farm and ranch."

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 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," Keimig explained. "When youth reach 16 years of age this law no longer applies to their employment."

While not required to work on the family farm, Keimig encouraged all youth who plan to engage in agriculture work this summer to attend.

The National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program is a project the United States Department of Agriculture Research, Education and Extension Service's Hazardous Operations Safety Training for Agriculture (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 14-18 year-old participants. SDSU Extension personnel will be coordinating the training.

To register visit, the iGrow Events page and search by event date. To cover the cost of participation and materials, there is a $50 fee for the Phillip training and a $60 fee for the Mitchell training. Registration ends on May 19 for Phillip and on May 23 for Mitchell.

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.

For questions on Hazardous Occupation Safety Training for Agriculture, please contact Keimig at 605-688-4167.

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