Rogator Simulator Puts Students in the Driver's Seat
In 2021 Co-Alliance made a commitment to continuing education in the state of Indiana by giving Ivy Tech Community College of Lafayette $25,000 to support their precision agriculture program. Often a donation of this size may go towards programming or multiple areas of need, but we focused our efforts on something that would offer students a hands-on experience in learning. Our $25,000 was used to purchase a rogator simulator.
It's taken time to source, purchase, assemble and begin teaching with the simulator, but the machine is now a force in the Lafayette classroom. With three large screens and controls built identical to those used in the field, the simulator allows students the opportunity to truly feel in the driver’s seat. Bumps, ditches, rocks, oncoming traffic, even mailboxes all become reality when teaching this kind of precision.
Travis Alenduff graduated from Attica High School and is now majoring in Precision Agriculture Equipment Technology at Ivy Tech Lafayette. Before using the simulator, he had only driven a Patriot Sprayer but did not have his chemical applicators license, so he hasn’t yet sprayed.
We asked Travis what surprised him the most when operating the simulator.
“The simulator felt pretty real life and the seat even moved and vibrated as you were going over a bump in the field,” he said. He also told us that the hydrostatic level is different than what he has used but still easy to learn. That’s the kind of hands-on experience we hoped for, where students can find differences in machines and capabilities.
Brad Pyle is an Ivy Tech student from Clinton County, also majoring in Precision Agriculture Equipment Technology. He does have his chemical applicators license and has used a Hagie and Case 4440 to custom spray for a local farmer’s business.
“I thought it was tough to line up on the corners and rows compared to operating a real-life sprayer,” he remarked, noting the precision that goes into such a job. Brad would like to farm full time following graduation and will no doubt utilize the opportunities afforded him at Ivy Tech to find success in the field.
Part of the Co-Alliance mission is to Lead with technology and people. This partnership with Ivy Tech Community College of Lafayette is part of our daily work to bring the best technology to those who want to extend their talents and ideas into agriculture.