NSTMOP: Instructor Information

Ag Safety and Health September 19, 2017 Print Friendly and PDF

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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. 

Instructor Requirements

To become an instructor, you must pass this course with a minimum score of 70%. Once certified, you will gain access to additional instruction materials, including the instructors' manual, PowerPoints to help you teach safety materials, and more.

For those seeking to become a certified NSTMOP Instructor our new online course can be accessed at Instructor Training Course.

If you have questions about the program please email Peggy Newel at png1@psu.edu or call 814-865-7685.

Student Curriculum

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:

  • Click HERE to order a bound copy of the student manual through Finney Company Inc.
  • Click HERE to be directed to the article "NSTMOP: Student Information," which contains links to the different instruction modules in the Modules and Task Sheets section.

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. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Click HERE for frequently asked questions concerning the NSTMOP program. Any additional questions can be emailed to the NSTMOP office at nstmop@psu.edu.


Reviewed and Summarized by:
Linda M. Fetzer, Pennsylvania State University – lmf8@psu.edu
Dennis J. Murphy, Pennsylvania State University – (Has since retired)      
Aaron M. Yoder, University of Nebraska - aaron.yoder@unmc.edu


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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.