Seed Genetics Direct, a fast-growing corn and soybean seed company in Jeffersonville, is sponsoring a free showing of “Silo,” an independent film based on a real-life grain entrapment tragedy.
The viewing will be held at 7 p.m. on March 7 at the Pike County Fairgrounds Multi Purpose Building, 311 Mill St. The first film to focus on grain entrapment, “Silo” takes place in an American farm town when disaster strikes, trapping a teenager in a 50-foot-tall grain bin.
“Unfortunately, grain entrapment is a real and possible tragedy that agricultural communities face every day. ‘Silo’ shines a necessary light on a danger many don’t know about,” said Todd Jeffries, SGD vice president, who works with his father, Chris, to meet the needs of Eastern Corn Belt farmers. “We are a family business. We love agriculture because it’s about relationships and helping each other. ‘Silo’ highlights how rural communities come together and the deep relationships farmers and neighbors have with each other. It just made sense for us to be a part of showing the film.”
Ethan Conn, soybean production lead for Seed Genetics, also serves as a volunteer firefighter with Jefferson Township Fire Department. As such, he has been trained on grain entrapment rescue and has even played the part of a victim in a training exercise.
“People may not know grain entrapment is really about pressure on the body that can suffocate a person — your head doesn’t have to go under,” said Conn. “When we trained for it, it was a very safe and controlled environment, but I could feel that pressure, as well as the pressure release when I was being rescued. It’s something I will never forget.”
Conn explained that part of the rescue equipment is a coffer dam, an airtight cylinder that surrounds a victim, relieves pressure and prevents grain from crushing a person. A shielded auger with a hand drill is then used to vacuum away the grain without hurting the victim.
“When we are working to rescue someone, we place milk crates across the grain. This provides rescuers something to step on and redistributes weight because I could be 10 feet away, but a trapped person will feel my steps because the pressure is so great,” Conn said. “You can’t just pull someone out, you could rip them in half. As a new farming season gears up, this is a good time to remind people of the dangers, and preventative measures, in agriculture.”
Pike County Fairground doors will open at 6 p.m.; the movie will begin at 7 p.m. Free popcorn and water will be provided by Rural King. The movie, which is 70 minutes and recommended for children over the age of 10, is hosted by Wilber-Price Farm Solutions and Pike County Farm Bureau. Additional partners are Cargill, Houser and Son Farm Equipment, Jackson Ag Service LLC, Veach Trucking and the Pike County Agricultural Society.
Additional safety information will also be available at the “Silo” event.
Until then, remember Conn’s words of advice, “As farmers, we have to inspect our grain for quality, but do it without putting your life at risk. A grain bin may look full, but there can be gaps and air pockets. Always work with someone when you have to enter a grain bin. Always have a safety tie-off. Never walk across the top.”