Volume 42 - Number 3 - 2001 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2001.03011
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Indiana 4-H Tractor Program by assessing the impact the program has had on alumni of the program. Past contestants of the state 4-H tractor-driving contest from the years 1982-1997 (N=233) were surveyed using a 30-item mailed questionnaire. A response rate of 72.4% was obtained for this census study. Respondents reported that the program was effective at teaching them to be safe tractor operators. They also believed that the program benefited them in other aspects of their life including general safety awareness. Respondents reported that they were involved in farming on a full or part-time basis (74%) or employed full-time in a mechanical or technology-related career (21%). The respondents self-reported involvement in a number of risky tractor operating behaviors including not wearing seat belts with ROPS-equipped tractors and allowing extra riders. Recommendations for improving the program include: (1) strengthening approaches for reducing risky behaviors, (2) developing up-to-date teaching materials, (3) conduct a future, more comprehensive study of past participants of the program, and (4) conduct a thorough evaluation of all of the program's components.