Archived Voice Articles

Grain Bin Safety Project Receives $1000 I-CASH Grant

A partnership involving the Sioux County Extension Office, the Sioux County Farm Bureau, the Dordt College Agriculture Department, and Sioux Center Community Hospital and Health Center AgriSafe has received a $1000 I-CASH (Iowa Center for Agricultural Safety and Health) grant to offer grain bin safety education. This is the first collaborative effort of its kind to educate young people and adults about the dangers of flowing grain.

In 2001 two farm fatalities occurred in Iowa in grain bin-related accidents, and grain entrapments are one of the least understood farming hazards. In the past three decades more than 200 farmers have died from grain suffocation in the United States. Most fatalities occur because of limited knowledge of the dangers of flowing grain.

This project will help answer questions like: Can a person be trapped in flowing grain? What holds someone in grain? How do people suffocated in grain? Can an individual rescue someone from flowing grain?

With the grant money, three Dordt College students from Iowa, Todd Hofman of Sanborn, Nathan Vander Schaaf of Orange City, and Wes Zylstra of Kellogg, will construct a miniature grain bin and a digital display recording the amount strength of an individual and their ability, or inability, to rescue an individual entrapped in grain. The students will develop 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.

The grain safety display will used at county fairs and Ag safety camps as well as at Dordt College Ag Day. It will also be available for local 4H and FFA groups to use as a learning tool. The organizations expect to reach over 1000 children and adults each year as they work together to promote grain bin safety.