Hazardous Occupation Safety Training in Agriculture (HOSTA) sessions will be delivered across the state this spring (2013) by South Dakota State University staff. 

HOSTA is a program which aims to educate South Dakota youth about the dangers associated with working on a farm or ranch. Currently, the law states that any individual who is 14 to 15 years old must be trained on the safe operation of tractors, farm machinery, and other hazardous activities in the agricultural industry. One exception to the rule is youth who are employed on their home farm. 

This means all 14 to 15 year olds who are seeking employment in the agriculture industry must receive the training as required by the U.S. Department of Labor, with the only exemption being for youth working on their own farm. When youth become 16 years of age, this law no longer applies to their employment. Youth who are working on their family farm are also encouraged to attend, as are older youth. 

The agricultural industry is the only industry in the U.S.A. that allows youth under the age of 16 to be considered a legal employee. When coupled with the fact that farming/ranching is considered to be one of the top ten most dangerous jobs, it is evident that we must educate youth about dangers on farms and ranches for the safety of both themselves and others. The number one way to prevent on farm accidents is by educating about possible dangers and giving students the knowledge to assess a situation for all possible hazards. For this reason, all youth ages 14-16 are strongly encouraged to attend. 

Dates and locations of the training will be as follows:

  • Brookings on May 28th at 10:00 am in Ag Engineering Building, Room 125.
  • Aberdeen on May 29th at 10:30 am at the Aberdeen Regional Extension Center.
  • Winner on May 30th at 10:00 am at the Winner Regional Extension Center.
  • Gettysburg on June 3rd at C&B Operations LLC, Potter County. 
  • Lemmon on June 4th at the Lemmon Regional Extension Center.

All locations will have a minimum requirement of 6 students pre-registered by Friday, May 24th at 4:00 pm. If a location does not have six students pre-registered by the deadline that session will be cancelled. Cost of the training is $25 per student. 

The safety training will consist of a classroom portion, and a driving portion. Students are expected to study the 48 core task sheets prior to the classroom session. A written exam will be given over the 48 core task sheets which must be passed with a minimum of 75 percent correct in order for the student to advance to the driving portion of the training. The task sheets can be found on the SDSU HOSTA website.


To register for the HOSTA safety training course, please contact Nic Uilk at (605) 688-5675 or Candy Willms at (605) 688-5141.