‘Another tool’: Norman County donates grain bin rescue equipment

The Norman County Corn and Soybean Growers appreciate the inherent dangers that come with farming. When accidents happen, growers depend on their local first responders to act quickly and efficiently. Like farmers, first responders are best able to do their job when they have more tools in their toolbox.

That’s why the Norman County Corn and Soybean Growers, in partnership with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC), are donating a grain bin rescue auger to area fire departments.

“You just never know when that call is going to come where someone is trapped in a bin,” said Norman County Corn and Soybean Grower Treasurer David Swenson. “It’s another tool that our local fire departments need and that they struggle to get because of the cost.”

Shared between the nine fire departments throughout the county, the grain bin rescue auger draws grain away from the trapped victim more quickly than manually scooping out the grain. The auger is intended to be used in conjunction with a grain bin rescue tube, which stops the flow of grain toward the victim.

Norman County farmers are investing checkoff resources into donating grain bin rescue equipment to their local fire department.

“In a grain bin rescue situation, all departments in the county will respond and work together,” said Swenson, who also serves as fire chief for the Shelley Fire Department. “You hope you never have to use any of the equipment, but sometimes you do end up needing it and it can make all the difference in the world.” 

No one wakes up in the morning expecting to find themselves in a life or death situation later in the day. By wisely investing soybean checkoff dollars, the Norman County Corn and Soybean Growers are taking critical steps in ensuring that a farmer trapped in a bin returns home safely to their family that night.

“To me, if you could just save one person, it’s worth more than anything,” said Corey Hanson, Norman County Corn and Soybean Grower chair. “Things happen so fast on the farm. When someone gets trapped in a grain bin, you need every opportunity possible to try to save them.”

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