SPARTA, WI (WXOW)—188 people, under 20-years-old, died on the job between 1992 and 1996; of those were 43 related to farm tractors.
In an effort to decrease those numbers, Wisconsin requires certification for children under 14 to drive tractors on public roads and who are between 14-16-years old to work on a farm other than their parents or guardian.
14-year old Jestin Hemmersbach comes from a family of farmers.
"I like driving tractors and farming is one of my biggest passions that I love to do," Hemmersbach said.
Even though he's been driving a tractor since he was eight-years-old on his family's farm, federal law states that Jestin needs to pass the tractor safety class so he can work on his Uncle's farm.
"I think I got the driving portion down, its just learning the fundamentals of the written portion," Hemmersbach said.
Bill Halfman has been teaching tractor safety courses for 15-years, he said the course is important for teens to help them understand being safe is an attitude.
"They need to make it part of their routine. Then it will become habit and they'll be safer for the rest of their lives," Halfman said.
Teens are learning things like how to drive a tractor in a number of situations, machinery safety and safety around animals.
Hemmersbach said he'll use the lessons he learned for the rest of his farming career.
"There's not a lot of kids that want to get out there and farm anymore. I'm just one of them that wants to go get it," Hemmersbach said.
For more information on certifications contact the UW-Extension office in your home county. Click here for a link to county directory listings.
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