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HOSTSA and NSTMOP Overview


The National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program (NSTMOP) is a project of Hazardous Occupations Safety Training in Agriculture (HOSTA) for youth ages 14 and 15.

Youth 14-15 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 a minimum of 24 hours of independent study using the NSTMOP task sheets, followed by skills and driving instruction. After completing the task sheet independent study, each student must complete a 50-question knowledge test and obtain a minimum passing score of 70%. If the student successfully passes the knowledge test, he or she is then 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 head office.

By successfully completing the program, 14-15 year olds may legally operate farm tractors and powered machinery for hire, which they otherwise would not be allowed to operate under the US Department of Labor's Hazardous Occupations Order in Agriculture.

The NSTMOP program is designed to consistently cover core content areas including safety basics, agricultural hazards, tractors, connecting/using implements with tractors and materials handling.

Training Locations and Course Registration

SDSU staff conducts several NSTMOP training sessions across the state of South Dakota every spring. Training dates/locations will be posted on the SDSU iGrow website by early April each year, with training sessions taking place in late May/early June.

For further details about the NSTMOP program, please visit the NSTMOP Program Overview website.

The task sheets for independent study can be found on the NSTMOP Student Information website.