Lyon County soybean farmers put their checkoff dollars to good use to help the community. The Lyon County Corn & Soybean Growers donated funds to the Taunton Fire Department for grain bin rescue equipment and Skechers soy-based work boots to the Marshall Fire Department.
The Taunton Fire Department purchased ropes and harnesses for department use. This equipment was purchased for grain bin safety in mind, but the hope is to never need to use it.
“Our goal is to eventually make a donation to each fire department in the county to help with grain bin safety equipment needs,” Board Treasurer Chase VanKeulen said. “The fire departments in our county and around the state do a great job and we want to give them this small boost to help them do their jobs when they’re needed.”
According to a Purdue study, there were 89 non-fatal cases and 24 fatal cases involving agriculture-confined spaces across the U.S. in 2022. This is a 41% increase over 2021, the highest number of cases reported frequency in the last decade. In total, 42 of the accidents were grain-related grain bin accidents, a 49% increase from 2021.
On top of grain bin entrapment cases, there were a reported 41 non-grain related cases, incidents involving livestock waste handling facilities, entanglements inside confined spaces, falls from confined space structures and grain dust explosions or fires.
The Lyon County Corn & Soybean Growers also donated Skechers soy-based work boots to the Marshall Fire Department as part of a continuation of the Stepping Up campaign that ran last year. The work boots from Skechers are made with soybean oil in the sole of the boot, which was either a compost toe or steel toe for training.
This is the first donation the board has made for rescue equipment to fire departments, but they have always been supporters of the local fire departments. The board hopes to continue supporting all of the fire departments in their communities, knowing the important work they are doing to keep people safe.
The Lyon County Corn & Soybean Growers Association is affiliated with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, which oversees the investment of soybean checkoff dollars on behalf of the nearly 28,000 farmers in Minnesota. The Council is governed by the rules of a federally mandated checkoff program that requires all soybean producers pay a fee on the soybeans they sell. Checkoff dollars are used to promote, educate and develop market opportunities for soybeans.