By Sunny Andersen
Oklahoma Farm Bureau (OKFB) and Oklahoma 4-H have teamed up to establish the ATV Training Facility to combat the rise of off-road accidents across the state.
Located on 25 acres near the Logan County Fairgrounds in Guthrie, Oklahoma, ATV riders 10-years-old and above can participate in the program, which covers basic safety techniques through a variety of exercises. The ATV RiderCourse consists of a two-hour online e-course at home, followed by a three-hour hands-on class instructed by licensed ATV Safety Institute instructors.
Participants are immersed in a program that mimics real-world conditions and given the option to add a teamwork and leadership component to the course.
Jim Rhodes, Oklahoma State University Extension agent, received a grant to provide participants with complimentary helmets to encourage safe ATV riding outside the program. The safety training program has given away 180 helmets.
The program has been in place for two years and within the first year, 282 youth attended 41 rider courses at the facility. Around the state, 100 youth were provided ATV safety-based leadership courses. The program continues to evolve as four-wheeler safety is critical in rural Oklahoma.
The OKFB and Oklahoma 4-H have successfully worked together to create an all-inclusive training program that saves lives and educates youth.
The ATV Training Facility and Safety Training Program garnered the Oklahoma Farm Bureau a 2022 New Horizon Award from the American Farm Bureau Federation. The award, which honors state Farm Bureaus with the most innovative new programs, is presented annually at the AFBF Convention.
For more information on participating in or hosting an ATV safety training course, contact Burton Harmon with OKFB Safety Services at (405) 205-0074 or visit okfarmbureau.org/safety.
Sunny Andersen, a senior at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, is an intern in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Communications Department.