Hazardous Occupations Safety Training In Agriculture (HOSTA) Back »

SDSU Extension Training

SDSU Extension offers the Hazardous Occupation Safety Training in Agriculture (HOSTA) training program. HOSTA is part of the ational Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program and uses materials developed by The Pennsylvania State University in cooperation with The Ohio State University and the National Safety Council under USDA CSREES agreement no. 2001-41521-01263 and enhanced by Penn State in 2010 under USDA NIFA Agreement No. 2010‐41521‐20839.

HOSTA trainings are offered in the spring/summer. View the South Dakota 4-H calendar to see upcoming trainings or contact John Keimig (SDSU Extension Youth Safety Field Specialist) for more information.


The following information is provided from the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program, Instructor Guidelines and Materials, Version 7. August 2017.

The United States Department of Labor (USDOL) Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 identified several hazardous occupations where individuals employed in these occupations had to be 18 years of age or older. The identified occupations included manufacturing and mining. In 1968, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 was amended to include the Hazardous Occupations Order for Agriculture (AgHO). This order established the age for employment in agriculture as 16 years of age or 14 years of age with special training. The order also identified hazardous operations and farm tasks, such as operating a tractor over 20 horsepower and operating other specific farm machinery, including, but not limited to, a corn picker, combine, hay baler, feed grinder, forklift or power post-driver. Exempt from this law are (1) minors who are employed on a farm owned and operated by their parents or guardians and (2) minors ages 14 and 15 who have received training and certification from an approved tractor and farm machinery safety certification program.

The USDOL regulations that relate to occupations in agriculture particularly hazardous for the employment of children younger than age 16 are found in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 29, Part 570, Subpart E-1 (29 CFR 570 Subpart E-1), commonly referred to as HOOA.

NSTMOP Task Sheet 1.2.1, Hazardous Occupations Order in Agriculture summarizes what youth younger than age 16 and their parents and employers need to know about the regulations. The official regulations, 29 CFR 570 Subpart E-1, can be found at the U.S. Department of Labor website.

Each state is responsible for providing the approved safety training that allows minors ages 14 or 15 to legally be employed to operate a tractor or other specified machinery. Youth can receive a USDOL Certificate of Training for tractor driving by completing 4 hours of orientation to on-farm hazards and general safety and that have participated in a 10-hour tractor safety course. With an additional 10-hour machinery safety course, youth receive a certificate of training for machinery operation. Individuals 16 years of age and older can be employed in agriculture without this certification.

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