Instructor Information

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.

Please NOTE:  As Penn State Extension prepares to launch a new Content Management System, the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program course for Instructors will see major changes.  There will be a new process for Ag Instructors and Extension Educators on how to become certified in NSTMOP.  This information will be posted once the program is up and running.  In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding the program, please email Peggy Newel at

Completing the NSTMOP constitutes compliance with the training requirements of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Hazardous Occupations Order in Agriculture (AGHOs) law.

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 written knowledge, operating skills and pre-op/driving 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.

Important Age: Age of Participants
Age Can take class Can participate in
practice driving
Can be tested
<12 No No No
12 through 13 Yes No No
14 through 15 Yes Yes Yes
16+ Yes Yes Yes, but not required

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

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. Listed below are the steps that must be completed to access the online NSTMOP community lead instructor training.

  1. Sign up for a Friends of Penn State (FPS) account (unless you already have a Penn State ID).
  2. Send your FPS ID (which has three letters and four digits—for example, xyz1234) via email to the NSTMOP office. Include "FPS ID for NSTMOP Instructor Training" in the subject line of the email. Please include your complete contact information and with whom you are affiliated.
  3. Wait for an email from the NSTMOP office to confirm your enrollment in the online training group.
  4. Complete the NSTMOP community lead instructor training within Penn State's Angel system.
  5. When you have completed the online training, inform the NSTMOP office via email (


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:

  • You may order a bound copy of the student manual through Finney Company Inc.
  • Or you may go to the NSTMOP page "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 written knowledge test and obtain a minimum passing score of 70%. Students who successfully pass the written knowledge test are then permitted to take the operating skills and pre-op/driving tests. Upon successful completion of all parts of the NSTMOP, students receive a formal DOL certificate of completion.

For more information contact:

National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program
The Pennsylvania State University
Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Agricultural Engineering Building
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 814-865-7685

Download Publication

Article Details


Instructor Information

This publication is available in alternative media on request.