Scholarship winners learn multiple safety practices

Ray Mueller
Winners of Tractor and Farm Safety camp scholarships awarded by the Lakeshore Two Cylinder Tractor Club gather for a group photo after the awards presentation at the club's annual picnic. From left, Dalen Meyers, Anthony Zucchi, Luke Zutz, Lakeshore club president Gerald Neuser of Mishicot, Alayna Litz, Matthew Fischer, and Isaac Pionek.

SCHOOL HILL – The six winners of scholarships awarded by Lakeshore Two Cylinder Tractor Club cited a variety of safety practices when reviewing what they learned at the Tractor and Farm Safety camps held at Camp Tapawingo in northern Manitowoc County earlier this year.

All six of them were awarded $125 (toward the camp cost of $195) during the tractor club's annual picnic meeting in August. Each of them was also given one of the club's new shirts.

The six were chosen from the 43 attendees who attended similar camps on the weekends of April 6-8, April 27-29, and July 17-19. The camp is conducted by Manitowoc County Extension Service 4-H youth development educator Kevin Palmer with the help of volunteers.

Two of the volunteers since 2016 have been Glenn Stuckmann of rural Sheboygan Falls and Jim Bingen of Brownsville. Both of them had sons who attended the camp in 2015. They specialize in the tractor safety portion of the class. Linda Wagner of Manitowoc served as a female chaperone while Eis Implement of Mishicot and the Manitowoc County parks department provided equipment for the camp.

Scholarship Criteria

According to Palmer, the scholarship winners are selected on their answers to questions (on their application) on why it is important to get the training given in a class on tractor and farm safety and on what they “should and will do” if they encounter an unsafe situation. That's in addition to successfully completing the written and driving tests at the camp.

The annual camp is designed in part to provide certification for youngsters so they can legally drive tractors for hire on farms. As mentioned by several of the award winners, the camp also provides safety tips for other activities on farms.

Winner Line up

For Matthew Fischer, 13, the son of Steve and Kim Fischer, a highlight of the camp was being taught the proper hand signals when traveling on roadways. He will be driving tractors on his parents' farm in the town of Newton south of Manitowoc. Because of the availability of an agricultural curriculum, he is a school choice student in the 8th grade at Valders Middle School.

Alayna Litz, who is 14, disclosed that the toughest challenge for her at the camp was being able to handle reverse driving between the cones on the training grounds. The daughter of Paul and Karen Litz will be driving tractors on her uncle Mark Litz's farm west of St. Nazianz. She is a freshman at Valders High School.

Safety practices in grain bins and around silos caught the attention of Isaac Pionek of rural Manitowoc. He will be driving tractors on the farm of his parents Jeff and Katrina Pionek. At age 12, he is a 7th grader at Wilson Junior High in Manitowoc.

For Dalen Meyers, 14, learning about how to handle animals and being aware of the blind spots in their vision was a highlight of the camp. The son of Mike and Melissa Meyers, he will be working on the Russell and Theresa Braun farm. He will be a freshman at Valders High School.

Anthony Zucchi, who is 13, learned the importance of the use slow moving vehicle (SMV) signs and to check crucial parts of the equipment before driving. He will be working for Fisher Farms near Clarks Mills. The son of Scott and Nicky Zucchi, he is an 8th grader at Valders.

Luke Zutz, 13 and also an 8th grader at Valders, cited road rules and related safety tips as new things he learned at the camp. He is the son of Jeff and Kim Zutz. He will be driving tractors on farms operated by his parents and by his grandfather Roger Zutz.

The Lakeshore Two Cylinder Tractor Club, which is based in Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties, will be holding its annual countryside tractor and wagon ride on Sunday, October 7. At no cost, the public is invited to attend the event which starts with a chili dinner at 11 a.m. at the Town of Meeme Hall located at 15318 County Hwy. X, Kiel, WI.