NSTMOP: Student Information

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

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Youth ages 14 and 15 years old seeking employment in production agriculture must comply with the training requirements of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Hazardous Occupations Order in Agriculture (AgHOs) law. As part of meeting the training requirements, youth must complete an approved training program. The National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program (NSTMOP) is a comprehensive program that consists of 24 hours of intensive instruction that incorporates the use of task sheets accompanied by skills and driving instruction. After completing classroom instruction, each student must complete a 50-question knowledge test and obtain a minimum passing score of 70%. Once a student successfully passes the knowledge test, he or she is then be permitted to take the program's skills and driving tests. Upon successful completion of all parts of the NSTMOP, the student receives a formal certificate of completion from the NSTMOP.

To locate an NSTMOP instructor in your area, contact the NSTMOP office at nstmop@psu.edu.

Student Curriculum

Task sheets are the basis of the NSTMOP and were developed as part of a new and updated curriculum. Elements of 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 on the links located below in the Modules and Task Sheets section.

Student Manual

The introduction to the student manual (available in ENGLISH and SPANISH) provides an overview of the NSTMOP program and a diagram of the skills and driving course. After successfully completing the NSTMOP program (course work, knowledge tests, and skills and driving course), students receive a certificate of completion, which can be viewed in the student manual. The manual includes an outline for the six modules in the NSTMOP and a diagram of the layout of the driving course. Each module focuses on a specific agricultural safety and health topic and addresses core competencies that each student should master through the completion of the course.

Modules and Task Sheets

Task sheets are the main curriculum for the NSTMOP and are divided into six modules. Click on the link below to review the task sheets for each module.

  1. Introduction Module (task sheets 1.1–1.5): This module provides an overview of agriculture, types of risks, and regulations related to agricultural safety and health.
  2. Safety Basics (task sheets 2.1–2.11): This module highlights youth safety and risk and discusses appropriate clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE), warning signs, hand signals, and basic first aid.
  3. Agricultural Hazards (task sheets 3.1–3.14): This module addresses hazards associated with machinery, animals, pesticides, electricity, confined spaces, and farm chemicals. 
  4. The Tractor (task sheets 4.1–4.14.1): This module provides a comprehensive overview of the tractor, including but not limited to tractor types, hazards, controls, lightning, and starting and operating a tractor. 
  5. Connecting and Using Implements with the Tractor (task sheets 5.1–5.6): This module focuses on various types of implements, such as drawbars, three-point hitches, and so on, and how they are connected and used with the tractor. 
  6. Materials Handling (task sheets 6.1–6.10): This module focuses on three machines— skid steers, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), and utility vehicles—that are used to transport materials on the farm.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click HERE to view a list of commonly 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.