On Monday, a 73 year old farmer in Genoa in Dekalb County, died when he became entrapped in a grain bin. The bin contained 10,000 to 12,000 bushels of corn. Despite the efforts of 100 firefighters he could not be saved.
The Center for Rural Health and Farm Safety at Carle had been scheduled to stage "Agriculture Safety Days" for 800 4th to 6th graders. The accident in Genoa took on added significance.
"We had a fatality up in DeKalb County in grain bins and it's a really good time to explain that," said Amy Rademaker a farm safety specialist at Carle. "Our goal by hosting these Safety Days is to help children recognize hazards before they become a statistic."
Children were shown demonstrations on the dangers of playing in or entering grain bins.
"We just think it's really important for them to understand how fast and how quickly someone can be submerged in grain," Jennifer Ballinger of Archer Daniels Midland told WAND News.
"It takes five seconds for someone to be submersed waist deep in grain," Ballinger stated. "Within ten seconds, by the time they count to ten, you're completely buried."
Another Safety Day program is scheduled for May 16, 2014. It will be held at the Vermilion County Fairgrounds in Oakwood.
(Photo: Helicopter used for a demonstration at Agriculture Safety Days in Monticello, May 6, 2014)