Each year, Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Cayuga County delivers a Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Certification course, specifically to educate youth. Youth from Cayuga and the surrounding counties are invited to participate in this very important safety program. This year, 10 teenagers from Cayuga and Onondaga Counties successfully completed the six week (24 hour) safety certification course.
Several local volunteers and farmers have made the success of this safety program possible. We began our program with speakers from the Sennett Fire Department and from NYCAMH (New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health). Both instructors talked about personal safety equipment and best practices for farm safety. Students then visited Raymond Donald & Sons in Venice where Robert Donald, Doug LaFave and Keith Severson discussed safe chemical handling, storage and other agricultural hazards. Greg and Neil Rejman of SunnySide Dairy taught implement, livestock, silo, hay and manure safety at SunnySide Dairy in Scipio Center. Students traveled to Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES center, in Auburn, where they discovered the various parts of tractors and associated implements. They also gained hands-on experience operating tractors (provided by O’Hara Machinery Equipment Dealership of Auburn), skid-steers, and ATV’s from a series of volunteer instructors including: Cale Jirinec, Todd Marcellus, David and Suzanne Burnett. Special thanks to John Komarisky of Main & Pinckney Equipment Dealership for providing tractors, machinery and volunteer services in conducting the Youth Certification Testing Day.