Dordt College News

Ag students involved in Grain Bin Safety Project

February 27, 2004

In 2001 two farm fatalities occurred in Iowa in grain bin related accidents. Grain entrapments are one of the least understood farming hazards. In the past three decades over 200 farmers have died from grain suffocation in the United States. Ag Students

The Dordt College Agriculture Department, the Sioux County Extension Office, Sioux County Farm Bureau, and Sioux Center Community Hospital and Health Center AgriSafe have partnered to offer grain bin safety education. In the past each of these organizations has worked separately to share the message of farm safety, making this the first collaborative effort of its kind. This partnership is the recipient of a $1000 I-CASH (Iowa Center for Agricultural Safety and Health) grant.

The overall goal is to educate youth and adults about the dangers of flowing grain. Many fatalities occur because of limited knowledge of the dangers of flowing grain. Through this project youth and adults will develop a better understanding of potential hazards associated with flowing grain. Information will be provided on how a person is trapped and suffocated in flowing grain and how they can be rescued.

Dordt College students Todd Hofman of Sanborn, Nathan Vander Schaaf of Orange City, and Wes Zylstra of Kellogg will use the grant money to purchase the materials and construct a miniature grain bin, along with a digital display which indicates the strength of an individual and their ability/inability to rescue an individual entrapped in grain. The students will contribute several lesson plans and supporting activities to use with the grain bin model. Individuals from each organization will be trained in using the model to educate participants.

Opportunities to demonstrate and educate youth and adults include the Orange City Health Fair and Farm Bureau Farm Tour in April, Dordt College Ag Day in April, the AgriSafe Safety Day Camp in June and the local county fair is in July. The grain safety display will also be available as a learning tool to local 4-H and FFA groups. This partnership will result in reaching over 1,000 children and adults each year and work together to promote grain bin safety.

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