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MISHICOT - A tractor and farm safety camp will be held for youth who plan to work on a farm from 8 a.m., Tuesday, July 18 through 5:30 p.m., Thursday, July 20 at Camp TaPaWingo, 915 W. TaPaWingo Rd., Mishicot. 

Accidents cause more deaths to individuals between the ages of 15 - 24 than all other causes combined. To help reduce accidents, the safety camp is being coordinated by UW-Extension Manitowoc County. 

The course focuses on the safety aspects of operating farm equipment and daily farm tasks. To complete the course, youth must attend all sessions and pass a written and a driving exam. 

Federal law requires that youth younger than 16 years must be certified before being hired to work with tractors and tractor machinery. Effective May 1, 1996, state law mandated that no person may direct or permit a youth younger than 16 years of age to operate a farm tractor or self-propelled implement on a public road unless the youth has been certified as successfully completing a tractor and machinery certification course.

Youth must be the minimum age of 12 by the first day of the Tractor and Farm Safety Camp in order to register. The camp is open to any youth in Wisconsin.

Teenagers who drive a tractor for their parents may still do so without the formal training program as long as they do not operate the tractor on a public road. The law also does not apply to situations where a youth is driving a tractor and implement directly across (perpendicular to) a public road.

Anyone who intends to hire teenagers on their farm, should make sure they enroll in this course for the farmer's protection as well as the youth's protection. There are penalties for not complying with the law. Also, some insurance companies have indicated that, technically, they cannot cover an accident to an untrained youth.

Cost of the camp is $195 per person. Registration deadline is July 1, depending on class sign up. 

The cost includes meals, lodging, all training materials and 24 hours of class time. 

Registration forms are available at manitowoc.uwex.edu. 

Contact Tracy Schuppel at 920-683-4169 or email at tracyschuppel@co.manitowoc.wi.us for more information.

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