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McDonald County High School students experience real life agriculture work from an excavator simulation

ANDERSON, Mo. — Students at McDonald County High School did plenty of learning today. Some — through simulation.

Sophomores, juniors and seniors had the opportunity to get behind the controls and operate a simulated excavator.

Students in the agriculture program at McDonald County High School had the opportunity to participate in real life work experience without actually being out on the job. How can they do that you might ask? Operating a simulated excavator.

“If you want to be a teacher, watching a teacher teach, sitting in a classroom and observing. Where this is more than observing, you actually get to practice what’s going on and you get hands on opportunity and hands on opportunity is just priceless,” said Shawn McAlister – McDonald County High School Agriculture Advisor.

And this hands on opportunity according to high school senior Teddy Reedybacon was a wild experience.

“It was crazy, whenever you would like hit stuff the chair would shake, and you would just try and scoop up the dirt and stuff and it just felt real, it felt like you were actually doing it. You were just scooping it up and you hit the truck, you’d start shaking, it was fun,” said Teddy Reedybacon – McDonald County High School Senior.

Not only was is a fun learning experience, but one professionals practice with before going out into the field.

“Knowing that since they get to do it for like a job and training, and I got to do it for just free, just do it. That’s just an awesome opportunity at the end to be able to do stuff like this,” said Reedybacon.

It also gives students the opportunity to learn what they want to do post high school.

“They’ll get people right out of school and sometimes even while they’re still students to work part-time and then they’ll bring them in to the operator status, they’ll bring them along. But they get to use machinery and tools like this to get better,” said McAlister.

Next spring — the school plans to bring the simulator back. Students will get to work with a bulldozer at that time.

Mike — Shawn McAlister adds with agriculture being such a big part of McDonald County, he’s thankful that his students got this kind of learning experience.

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