May 12 & 13 2012
Registration will open January 15th
Registration Fee: $150 per person includes lunch each day
Registration is limited to 12 participants.
Presented by Shane J. LaBrake, Agricultural Consultant, Accokeek, MD
Join us at MOFGA for a two-day, hands-on workshop that demystifies tractors and empowers their users to operate and maintain their machines more safely, and with greater skill and confidence.
We will begin the first day in a classroom setting with a review of the historical purpose and use of tractors as well as the basic operating principles of the internal combustion engine, and a comparison of gasoline and diesel engines. After a brief break, we will review safe operating procedures for tractors and implements. There will be a one hour lunch break.
After lunch, we will move outside to review the fundamentals of tractor operation and daily maintenance checks. From the operator’s deck, we will review the functions and safe use of all of the pedals and levers. Next, we will move to the rear of the tractor to review use of the drawbar, the PTO (power take-off), and the operating principles of the three-point hitch. We will also review safe and efficient use of the front-end loader. We will end the first day with tractor driving practice for the novices in the audience.
The second day is a hands-on primer lesson in do-it-yourself tractor maintenance. We will perform a variety of routine tractor maintenance chores including oil and filter change, coolant change, hydraulic-transmission fluid and filter change, air filter replacement, fuel filter replacement, belt tension adjustment, battery care, and a range of other do-it-yourself tasks that are typically performed at regularly scheduled intervals. There will be a one hour lunch break.
This workshop is meant to be hands-on, and portions of it will be conducted outside. Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear, i.e., clothing that can be dirtied with oil and grease stains, and that is adequate for the forecast weather conditions.
Copies of relevant articles and a tractor users resource list are provided to all the attendees.
About the Workshop Instructor: Shane J. LaBrake is an Agricultural Consultant and a trainer/teacher of various agricultural skills. He managed three different Community Supported Agriculture organic vegetable farm operations between 1994 and 2007, where he was deeply involved in developing methods and curriculum in new and beginner farmer training. He has presented variations on this two-day workshop over a dozen times in the past two years in Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Virginia. These workshops have always garnered rave reviews, and Shane is continuously tweaking the workshop material to better serve a new generation of tractor jockeys.