The National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program (NSTMOP) is primarily a training program for 14- and 15-year-olds seeking employment in production agriculture. Completing the NSTMOP constitutes compliance with the training requirements of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Hazardous Occupations Order in Agriculture (AGHOs) law. However, the curriculum of this program can also be used to teach new and inexperienced tractor operators of all ages and backgrounds how to safely operate farm tractors and other machinery. In addition, the curriculum provides an introduction to farm and ranch hazards and risks. When students that are 16 years of age and older complete the program, formal evaluation (the knowledge, driving, and skills tests) and the certificate of completion are not required. Instructors might nevertheless wish to take advantage of these components to add structure to their teaching.
Youth between the ages of 14 and 15 can be certified only by Cooperative Extension educators or by high school agriculture instructors (vocational agriculture teachers or agricultural science teachers). The signature of such an educator on the U.S. Department of Labor certificate indicates that a student has successfully passed all requirements of the training program. Only approved NSTMOP instructors can use the NSTMOP curriculum materials.
In order to become a NSTMOP instructor, you must complete the online NSTMOP community lead instructor self-tutorial or attend a NSTMOP community lead instructor workshop.
The NSTMOP consists of 24 hours of intensive instruction that includes task sheets and skills and safe-driving instruction. The task sheets serve as the basis of the program. The curriculum can be obtained through the following two avenues:
After the instruction is complete, each student must complete a 50-question knowledge test and obtain a minimum passing score of 70%. Students who successfully pass the knowledge test are then permitted to take the skills and driving tests. Upon successful completion of all parts of the NSTMOP, students receive a formal certificate of completion.