Because rescuers had attended the 2019 Alabama Farmer’s Cooperative’s Grain Expo in January and received not only training in live rescue, but also the grain bin wall needed for such a rescue, three lives were saved on May 22, 2019. The operation was quick and successful. Jackie Loyd was working in his grain bin when he became entrapped in the stored corn. Jackie’s brother and nephew attempted to save him, and within minutes all three men became trapped by the grain, which can quickly lock a person in like cement.
Fortunately, the Scottsboro, Alabama, fire and rescue units were on the scene quickly and freed the men from the potentially fatal situation. At the Expo, Aviagen joined six local companies to sponsor six walls marketed under the name, “the Great Walls of Rescue,” and the Scottsboro Fire and Rescue Department was one of the beneficiaries.
John Gamble, Vice President of the AFC Grain Division, expressed his appreciation.
“Without Aviagen’s sponsorship, this accident would have had a tragic ending. Farming isn’t just a job for the farmers in this state, but a way of life, and we want to do everything within our power to help and support them. The Loyd family is alive and well today because of Aviagen’s contribution alongside the other companies donations and we at the AFC Grain Division, as well as the farmers and first responders of Alabama want to extend a heartfelt thank you.”
“We’re humbled that our contribution assisted in saving the lives of these valued Alabama farmers. We purchase all of our grain from local farmers, and are strongly committed to their safety, well-being and success,” commented Aviagen’s Director of Feed Production Richard Obermeyer, who is a member of the Alabama Feed and Grain Association’s Board of Directors.
Grain entrapment is a risk faced by people working in and around grain storage facilities.
According to a U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fact sheet on grain storage bins, “flowing grain acts like quicksand and can bury a person in seconds.”
A 2013 document from researchers at Purdue University in Indiana says that more than 900 cases of grain entrapment were reported across the U.S., with a fatality rate of 62 percent in the past 50 years (https://www.osha.gov/news/newsreleases/region7/06202013-0).
The danger is normally higher for smaller, local farmers who often don’t have the benefit of commercial safety procedures and resources