Tractor Certification course graduate nine 4-H members

The Steuben County 4-H/Youth Development Program recently graduated nine 4-H members from the 2021 National Safe Tractor & Machinery Operation Certification Program. This certification allows youth 14 & 15 years of age to legally operate farm equipment for hire. New graduates were: Alex Knowles, Korbin Herrington, Lexy Wilson, Camden Plank, Prestin Plank, Diana Slayton, Louisa Slayton, Sarah Slayton, and Aidan Porter.

The course was 30 hours over seven weeks and was taught by Dave Dockstader Sr., Dave Dockstader Jr., and Ainsley Owens. It covered Grain Bin Safety, Safe Operation of a tractor & farm machinery, Respiratory Hazards, Working with Livestock, Fire Safety, Personal Dress, Risk Perception, Silo Safety, Tractor Controls, Pre-Operation Checks, Part Identification, and other related topics. After completing the training course, youth had to pass a written knowledge test and driving test to receive the certification. For 2021, grant funds covered the cost for each Steuben County 4-H Member.

Without the support of community partnerships and volunteers, this opportunity would not have been possible. They included Monroe Tractor Campbell; Steuben County Sheriff’s Department; Howard Fire Hall; Slayton Crest Farm, Bath; Crystal Spring Farm, Bath; NYCAMH-New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health; and Paul Knowles.

This program is offered annually over the winter months and is open to all Steuben County 4-H Members 14 & 15 years of age. Interested in becoming enrolled in 4-H to take the course in 2022? Please reach out to Ainsley Owens at 607-664-2571 or For more information on this program and other 4-H opportunities, visit


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Diana Slayton