July 30 is the deadline for students from age 14 to 18 to pre-register for the 2019 New York State FFA Tractor Driving Safety Contest that will be held on Thursday, August 8 at the 2019 Empire Farm Days at Rodman Lot and Son Farms in Seneca Falls, N.Y. To pre-register, contact coordinator Jon Clayson at Pioneer Central School at JClayson@pioneercsd.org. Students can also register the day of the contest.
“Developing proper tractor driving skills is its own reward in farm safety. The annual state contest is a bonus opportunity for youth to showcase their abilities and to remind the farm community to make safety a priority day in and day out,” says Clayson.
The contest judging is rigorous and includes a written exam and how well the contestants can identify tractor parts in addition to the driving course.
Clayson advises students to practice their driving skills and to study for the written exam and suggests visiting the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health website at www.nycamh.org for educational resources.
Students who are FFA members are judged in two age divisions: 16 to 18 years old and 14 to 16 years old; 4-H members who are not FFA members compete in a separate division. The Senior Division winner goes on to compete at the Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, MA, in September.
Entrants must demonstrate their ability to safely maneuver a farm tractor with a 2-wheel and 4-wheel wagon attached. They will be driving new 4×4, 55-75 horsepower tractors provided by the contest sponsors.
Sponsors for the 2019 NYS FFA Tractor Driving Safety Contest include Case International, John Deere, Kubota, New Holland, H&S Farm Equipment, the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health, Java Farm Supply, Lamb and Webster, and the New York FFA Foundation.
The 2018 Empire Farm Days New York State Tractor Driving Safety Contest winners were Patrick Fontaine of Pioneer Central School in the Senior Division; Owen Williams, Waterville Central School, in the Junior Division; and Joshua McCall of Wayne County in the 4-H Division.
The NYS FFA Tractor Driving Safety Contest is a youth-focused feature of the three-day Empire Farm Days agricultural and rural living showcase event. Learn more at www.empirefarmdays.com or call 877-697-7837.