PEOSTA, Iowa – Each year, thousands of farmers are exposed to the life-threatening hazards associated with entering grain bins to remove rotting or clumped grain. In seconds, an adult can be completely buried in the quicksand-like flow of grain with little hope for survival. In 2018, 30 cases of grain engulfment were recorded, resulting in 15 fatalities. Further, 2019’s late harvest has exacerbated the problem – as farmers rush to clear unused grain, at least 19 deaths from grain engulfment have occurred since August 2019.
To bring awareness to these hazards and to demonstrate the proper tools and training communities need to save lives when accidents occur, Nationwide, Corteva Agriscience and the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) have joined forces to host a live grain engulfment simulation and rescue demonstration during Grain Bin Safety Week on Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, at NECAS in Peosta, Iowa. During the event, FarmHer president and founder Marji Guyler-Alaniz will be sunk in a grain bin simulator and rescued.
An opportunity for media to attend the simulation and conduct interviews is available.
National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS)
FarmHer president and founder Marji Guyler-Alaniz
Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Julie Kenney
Local farmers and first responders
What: Nationwide Agribusiness, Corteva Agriscience and NECAS have joined forces to demonstrate the hazards of grain bin entry and the proper tools and training needed to save lives when accidents occur. During the simulation on Feb. 21, FarmHer president and founder Marji Guyler-Alaniz will be sunk and rescued from a grain bin simulator. Iowa’s Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Julie Kenney, will also provide opening remarks during the event.
When: Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, during Grain Bin Safety Week; 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. CST
Where: NECAS, 8342 NICC Drive, Peosta, Iowa 52068
About Grain Bin Safety Week
To raise awareness of these dangers and prevent all-too-common accidents, Nationwide has launched its seventh annual Nominate Your Fire Department Contest in recognition of Grain Bin Safety Week. The goal is to prevent injuries and fatalities by promoting safe bin-entry procedures, such as maintaining quality grain, testing bin atmosphere for toxic gases and wearing proper safety equipment. Nominations for this year’s Nominate Your Fire Department Contest are open until April 30.
This year, Grain Bin Safety Week runs Feb. 16-22 and has been officially recognized by the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, West Virginia.
Since 2014, Nationwide has awarded grain bin rescue tubes and training to 111 fire departments in 26 states. Four of these fire departments have already put their tubes and training to action by rescuing workers trapped in grain bins.
“Communities across the country rely on the important work of America’s farmers,” said Brad Liggett, president of Nationwide Agribusiness, the No. 1 farm insurer.1 “We initiated Grain Bin Safety Week with our partners to reduce the occurrence of grain bin accidents and to equip first responders with the tools and training needed to respond quickly when they do occur. That’s why we feel it’s so important to continue to ensure these safety tubes and training are provided to those who need them.”
According to researchers at Purdue University, 370 grain entrapment cases have been recorded in the last 10 years. In 2018, 30 cases were documented, representing a 30% increase from 2017, with half (15) resulting in fatalities. Purdue also estimates that an additional 30% of cases go unreported each year. A recent story from United Press International also highlighted a startling uptick in grain bin accidents as farmers rush to clear last year’s unused grain, with at least 14 people killed in grain bins between August and December 2019.
In 2019, Corteva Agriscience donated 21 grain rescue tubes and training to local fire departments across the nation and will continue its support in 2020.
“As grain entrapments continue to affect our local communities, it’s increasingly important to raise awareness and provide the training and equipment that can help save lives,” said Judd O’ Connor, Corteva Agriscience U.S. President. “We are committed to promoting safety in the communities in which our customers and employees live and work. We embrace safety in all that we do, and we’re proud to collaborate to do what’s right for our rural communities.”
To help prevent further deaths and injuries, Nationwide collaborates each year with NECAS to provide safety training. The director of NECAS travels to training locations with a state-of-the-art grain entrapment simulator and rescue tube. The comprehensive training sessions include classroom education and a rescue simulation with the entrapment tool, which is loaded onto a 20-foot trailer and able to hold about 100 bushels of grain.
Nationwide’s Grain Bin Safety Week and Nominate Your Fire Department Contests are supported by the following collaborators:
Lutz Agency, Inc.
Specialty Risk Insurance
Delaware Farm Bureau®
Maryland Farm Bureau®
New York Farm Bureau®
Ohio Farm Bureau®
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau®
Carter Fire District
Frazer Insurance Agency, Inc.
German American Insurance Inc.
Miami County Farm Bureau®
Scoular Grain Company
West Side Salvage
First Gabrielson Agency
NOHR Wortmann Engineering
Stuber Insurance Agency
For more information about the program, purpose or nomination process, visit www.grainbinsafetyweek.com or watch this video.
Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About Corteva Agriscience
Corteva Agriscience is a publicly traded, global pure-play agriculture company that provides farmers around the world with the most complete portfolio in the industry - including a balanced and diverse mix of seed, crop protection and digital solutions focused on maximizing productivity to enhance yield and profitability. With some of the most recognized brands in agriculture and an industry-leading product and technology pipeline well positioned to drive growth, the company is committed to working with stakeholders throughout the food system as it fulfills its promise to enrich the lives of those who produce and those who consume, ensuring progress for generations to come. Corteva Agriscience became an independent public company on June 1, 2019, and was previously the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont. More information can be found at www.corteva.com.
1Source: 2018 SNL Financial Report. Based on statutory data.
All cash contributions help purchase grain bin tubes and/or training. All donations are managed through the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit.
For official rules, visit nationwide.com/GBSWContestRules
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