Grain Safety on the Farm

Though grain may not seem to be an obvious risk on a farm or ranch, the dangers of grain during harvest, transport and storage can be deadly. With harvest here, we encourage everyone to take safety precautions when working with grain.

Grain safety is often a high-priority topic during Progressive Agriculture Safety Days®. “In a matter of 10 seconds, one can become totally submerged in flowing grain resulting in death by suffocation,” says Bernard Geschke, program specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation®. “Across agriculture, grain-related deaths occur far too often, and we believe it is critical to have this often unrecognized danger be a part of our education program.”

The most common causes of suffocation in grain include being trapped: 1) by flowing grain, 2) when grain bridges collapse, or 3) by an avalanche of a vertical grain wall.

What can parents teach their children to help them avoid a grain-related injury or death?

  • Always stay out of and away from grain bins and grain wagons even if grain isn’t flowing. Bridged grain can unexpectedly collapse and submerge a person. It takes less than five seconds for a person to become completely helpless in flowing grain.
  • Never go into the grain to try to save someone who is being entrapped.Attempting to rescue someone without proper equipment and assistance may result in you being entrapped as well.  The best thing you can do is to immediately get an adult to help. If you can’t find an adult, call 911.

These safety tips are examples of what children learn when they attend Progressive Agriculture Safety Days, which are held each year in more than 400 local communities throughout North America. Learn more about our farm Safety Day programs at

To learn more about grain safety, watch Bernard on AGCO’s YouTube video “Understanding the Dangers of Grain Entrapment”:


Meet a Safety Day Coordinator

By Casey Droddy

Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® coordinators are responsible for organizing the one-day events in their communities. With support of the Progressive Agriculture Foundation®, these individuals attend coordinator training and receive resources like the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day Topics and Activities Manual to help plan their Safety Day.

Safety Day coordinator from Chilton, WI, Jenny Konen enjoys organizing a Safety Day that hosts more than 120 local youth, ages 8-13. Under the auspices of her job as the marketing and public relations coordinator for Calumet Medical Center, Konen pulls together community members to present Safety Day lessons. We talked with Jenny about her second year organizing a Safety Day for some insight on being a coordinator.

Question:  When did you start planning your Safety Day event that was held in mid-July?  Answer:  I began planning in February right after I attended coordinator training. We have monthly meetings with our committee members, who are leaders in the community and have a passion for keeping kids safe.

Question:  What helps keep the event running smoothly?   Answer:  The volunteers are key. We always keep them aware of what is going on and give them maps and schedules of the day’s program. Making sure they are all on the same track helps the day run great.

Question:  What have you seen the Safety Day do for your community?   Answer:  It benefits the whole community, and though we don’t know how many accidents were prevented just from holding the Safety Day, it’s the education factor that makes the difference.

Question:  What advice would you give to other Safety Day coordinators?   Answer:  Start early and allow yourself enough time to plan the event.

Jenny says the amount of community appreciation she hears before, during and after the event makes it all worth it. She sees how much fun the kids have at Safety Day and knows they will take home the safety lessons they learned.

Visit our Get Involved web page to learn about hosting a local Safety Day or helping as a volunteer. Or, contact us to get started.

Working to Improve Safety and Health in Rural Communities

We all hear the horror stories of losing a loved one to a farm-related incident. The families left behind ponder what would have happened “if only.” If only he had been more careful, if only she wasn’t in such a hurry, if only we had known.

Moved by stories of farming-related tragedies, Jack Odle, editor of The Progressive Farmer, launched an effort in 1995 to help prevent farm deaths. This effort evolved to become the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® program. Now in its 19th year, the effort is continuing the mission of eliminating farm injury and death by providing education and training to make farm, ranch and rural life safer and healthier for children and their communities through its Safety Day program.

Today, Safety Days are made possible by the Progressive Agriculture Foundation® (PAF), an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit with a board of directors from the ag industry. PAF is the largest farm safety and health educational program in North America. The curriculum has grown from basic farm safety to include:

  • Propane safety
  • Fire safety
  • ATV safety
  • Healthy lifestyles
  • Electrical safety
  • And many others

PAF is supported by generous sponsors who donate time and money to invest in the next generation of rural North America.

The program also has a large network of volunteers who contribute time and skills to host 400+ individual Safety Days annually. In 2012, 19,442 volunteers provided safety information to 79,023 participants.

The core mission of the Safety Day program is simple: to keep children safe and healthy. By focusing on topics that are relevant to children in rural areas, the Safety Day program has successfully reached more than 1.1 million children and volunteers.

Would Progressive Agriculture Safety Days benefit the families you know? What safety topics would be most important for your community? Learn more about how you can get involved or start a local Safety Day.Image

How your vote on October 23 will help keep kids safe

In 2012, an estimated 14,138 children were injured on U.S. farms and ranches. That’s why Progressive Agriculture Foundation (PAF) was started: to help prevent these injuries and keep rural children alive and well. The five employees who work for PAF visit many states across the US and Canada to support the 415+ Safety Days each year, all organized by hundreds of volunteers committed to rural safety.

PAF is excited to announce they are a finalist for Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good. The program is showcasing five nonprofit organizations each day for 50 days at Each day, visitors to the page can vote for two of the five organizations they feel are most deserving of new Toyota vehicles.

So how can your vote help?

With more than 100 Safety Days and sponsors within driving distance of the PAF Kansas City Office, a Toyota Tundra would help us boost awareness and reduce overhead. A Toyota Tundra decked out with the PAF and Safety Days logos would help increase visibility as we travel to appointments, tradeshows and Safety Days.

It also would reduce rental car expenditures by $2,500 annually. Since it takes about $13 to get one child to a Safety Day, saving $2,500 means 192 more kids could attend a Safety Day each year. That’s nearly 200 kids learning how to stay safe and healthy in their communities.

That’s worth a vote on October 23, isn’t it?

Click here to give yourself a reminder to vote on Facebook.

Progressive Agriculture Safety Days are on Social Media!

PAF Toyota 100 Cars for Good Primary ImageWelcome to the Progressive Agriculture Foundation® and Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® blog! We are very excited to join social media and share stories from our Progressive Agriculture Safety Day program with you. Here and on Facebook you’ll find news from the program and our volunteer coordinators, and see how we impact rural families across North America and beyond.

We hope that you’ll get to know us better, and more importantly, see the people who carry out our mission to provide education and training to make farm, ranch and rural life safer and healthier for children and their communities.

Our dedicated volunteer coordinators hold one-day Safety Day events for children in schools and rural communities in the U.S., Canada, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands. And, every day our work helps protect the lives of the more than 1.2 million participants we’ve already reached with safety and health education. We look forward to sharing their stories with you, and providing safety tips for your family, too.

We invite you to to share your personal stories or ask questions here, “like” us on Facebook, and visit us at