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Seeds for Stewardship grant helps fire department upgrade grain safety equipment

Faribault Fire & Rescue
It takes less than five seconds to become trapped knee deep in flowing grain. In less than 20 seconds, an adult can become fully engulfed.

More than 25 grain bin entrapment incidents are reported annually, and countless others go unreported each year. Through the CHS Seeds for Stewardship program, CHS supports grain bin rescue equipment and training so that rural fire departments are ready to respond to entrapment calls. 

More than 10 grain bin rescue and training grants were awarded in 2017 as part of CHS efforts to lead meaningful advancement in ag health and safety, including one to the Faribault, Minn. Fire Department. 

When Kelley Watts of Community Cooperative first heard about Seeds for Stewardship matching grants, she reached out to the Faribault Fire Chief Dusty Dienst to determine the department's priorities. With the department's grain bin rescue equipment aging, Dienst thought the money would be best served in that capacity.

"We can't do grain bin rescues without proper gear and our equipment does not last forever," says Dienst. "Old equipment will still be utilized, but these things need to be replaced. They have an expiration date." 

With the $10,000 from Community Cooperative and CHS, Dienst and his team will have 25 sets of equipment for grain bin rescues. Faribault fire fighters will also undergo training so they are prepared to use the equipment in their rural community. 

For Watts, even if one life is saved, the project is a success.

"Projects like this are essential to enriching our rural area and the people who live here," says Watts. "The goal for Community Cooperative and CHS is to better our communities and show that we care." 

To learn more about the Seeds for Stewardship program and ways CHS is working with industry partners to provide safety training, equipment and industry expertise, visit