Safety training in agriculture for youth farm/ranch workers

Farm Forum

BROOKINGS – Youth 14 to 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. To help youth meet these requirements, National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program sessions will be delivered across the state throughout the spring by SDSU Extension staff.

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.

As part of meeting the training requirements, youth must complete an approved training program. The (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 percent. 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 to 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 and using implements with tractors and materials handling.

Dates and locations of the NSTMOP training sessions in South Dakota will be as follows:

• May 22 at 9 a.m. – In Rapid City at the West River Ag Center (1905 Plaza Boulevard, Rapid City)

• May 28 at 9 a.m. – In Brookings at the SDSU Ag Engineering Building, Room 125, (1400 N Campus Dr, Brookings)

• May 29 at 9 a.m. – Near Beresford at the SDSU Southeast Research Center (29974 University Road, Beresford)

• June 4 at 9 a.m. – In Gettysburg at C&B Operations LLC, Potter County Implement (30965 US Highway 212, Gettysburg)

Pre-Registration is May 19

All locations must have a minimum of six students pre-registered by Monday, May 19 at 4 p.m. or that session will be cancelled. The maximum number of students per session is 12, and spots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. If classes fill up, additional sessions may be offered at a later date.

Cost of the training is $25 per student, and can be paid on the SDSU iGrow website during registration.

For more 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:

To register for a NSTMOP safety training course, please use the SDSU iGrow website.

Contact Scott Cortus at 605-688-5668 or