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Biological and Agricultural Engineering


Students and Parents - Please contact your county extension office to register for the training and testing. 

K-State utilizes materials from The National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program (NSTMOP), which is a project of Penn State for youth ages 14-15.


Since 1969, the U.S. Department of Labor has declared many agricultural tasks to be hazardous to youth younger than 16. With certain exemptions, employment of youth under 16 for tasks that require operation of a tractor and machinery is illegal unless the youth are certified. By successfully completing this certification program, 14 and 15 year old youth may legally operate farm tractors and powered machinery for hire which they otherwise would not be allowed to operate under the U.S. Department of Labor's Hazardous Occupations Order in Agriculture.


The National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program (NSTMOP) is a project of the United State Department of Agriculture Cooperative States Research, Education and Extension Service's Hazardous Occupations Safety Training for Agriculture Program. It was developed to respond to the need for resources to inform and support the Youth Farm Safety Education and Certification Regulation which is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Training is designed to consistently cover core content areas including safety basics, agricultural hazards, tractors, connecting and using implements with tractors and materials handling. Testing includes a written exam along with skills and driving tests.

NSTMOP Overview

The National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program (NSTMOP) was developed through a collaborative effort involving Penn State University, Ohio State University, and the agricultural division of the National Safety Council.

The project was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture. This program is now managed solely by Penn State.

The NSTMOP was originally developed and designed for 14- and 15-year-olds seeking employment in production agriculture. The U.S. Department of Labor's Hazardous Occupations Order in Agriculture (AgHOs) regulation prohibits 14- and 15-year-olds from operating farm tractors and attached powered equipment unless the youths have successfully completed an approved safe tractor and machinery operation training program. For more information about these regulations, visit the website of the U.S.Department of Labor.

What's Included for Certification

The training is led by local county extension or high school agricultural educators. Subjects covered include general agricultural safety, tractor and equipment operation, and highway transportation. Students are certified after successfully passing a fifty-question written knowledge test and successfully passing both a operating skills test and a pre-op/driving test.

Student Curriculum

The NSTMOP requires 24 hours of instruction.  Contact your area county extension agent or 4-H leader for details about training in your area.

Parent Resources

Students are required to take the NSTMOP training and receive certification from a K-State Extension Agent or Vocational Agriculture teacher only. 

Instructor Resources Link


Program Contact:

Tawnie Larson
Carl and Melinda Helwig Department Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Kansas State University
1047 Seaton Hall
920 N Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive
Manhattan, KS 66506