MCW FFA to highlight grain entrapment

SHERBURN — Safety is a key component to every profession, which holds especially true when it comes to farming. While modern technology can take away some of the dangers of the past, people are still their own best source of prevention when it comes to their well being. With that in mind, the Martin County West FFA chapter, in conjunction with Fairmont Farmers Mutual, Grinnell Mutual, the Sherburn Fire Department, and the Martin County Farm Bureau, are sponsoring a showing of the movie “Silo” at the Sherburn Theatre during the weekend of August 21.

MCW FFA Advisor Stephanie Wohlhuter shares that the movie is the first-ever feature film highlighting the dangers of grain bin entrapment. Silo follows the story of a teenager that becomes entrapped in a bin of grain, and the way the community worked together to try to save him.

“We had originally planned to show the movie last April, and there was a big push among agricultural groups to get the word out on the farm safety topic of grain bin entrapment,” Wohlhuter said. “So they worked with FFA chapters to give a discounted rate for the showing of the movie, if FFA chapters worked together with other groups in the community to show it.”

Like many other things in 2020, COVID-19 sidelined those plans. However, Wohlhuter says there are safety measures in place that will allow people to see the movie, while simultaneously helping out their local theater.

“With the theaters operating at 25 percent capacity, we’re going to have four showings with no more than 98 people at each one. We think we can do that safely, and this is also a benefit to our local theater.

“They’re really having a hard time with no new movies coming out and attendance for older movies has been pretty low. So we see this a benefit for the theater in out town to have something to bring people in and sell concessions and that kind of thing.”

“There have been way too news many stories lately of fatalities or serious injuries from grain bin entrapment. I think in agriculture everybody knows that safety issues are always something to be concerned about. I think it’s helpful to highlight them and make sure they’re at the forefront of peoples’ minds.”

Paul Stueven of Fairmont Farmers Mutual agrees with that assessment.

“I think the movie gives a good opportunity to highlight some of the dangers that exist with the grain storage facilities,” he said. “It’s important to take proper precautions, because things can happen very fast.

“On the property side, as an insurer of a lot of properties in the area, we’re here to help rebuild, repair, or fix machinery but human life is a whole different ballgame. We want to do whatever we can to help protect and raise awareness.”

Rochelle Krusemark with the Martin County Farm Bureau shares some of the very real danger of grain bins, and how that danger builds over time.

“The last couple of years with the moisture so high on the corn in the fall and all of it being dried, and with the prices not being so good, people are storing it longer and it becomes a lot more of a problem,” she said. “When you store grain longer it starts bridging and extra foreign material makes it bridge up more. Then you get some hot spots and it kind of balls up and plugs up.

That last couple of years have seen real high bin accident rates. Safety has always been a priority for the Farm Bureau, and part of that is policy and part is promotion and education. That’s why we thought it would be a good idea and we wanted to get involved.”

Movie tickets for the event are free with a maximum of 98 tickets available for each of the four showings. All other current COVID guidelines will be followed, including social distancing and masks will be mandated inside the theatre.

Show times are at 7 p.m., August 21 and 22. On August 23 show times are 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Those who wish to attend must reserve their tickets ahead of time. To reserve them, people can send an email to stephaniewohlhuter@mcwmavericks.org or call 507-236-4181. People are asked to give their name, email address, the number of tickets they would like, and the date/time of the show they would like to attend. According to Krusemark, there will also be a drawing for a safety harness.

Each person attending will receive a free bottle of water and bag of popcorn.


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