Over the past 50 years, more than 900 cases of grain engulfment have been reported in the U.S. with a fatality rate of 62 percent. In 2010, as many as 30 U.S. workers died in grain engulfments – the highest number on record. Most tragic of all: grain engulfments are highly preventable.

West Central is partnering with Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance Company, Farm Safety for Just Kids, Heartland Co-op, Iowa FFA Foundation, National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) and others to increase awareness of the dangers of flowing grain and bring visibility to safety procedures that can save lives through an annual Grain Bin Safety Week beginning in 2014. West Central is proud to make a $1,000 donation toward the purchase of a rescue tube for the Woodward Fire Department. For farmers and grain elevator workers, entering a grain bin is an extremely dangerous decision that can turn deadly quickly. In a matter of a few seconds, a person in a grain bin can become helplessly trapped. "Volunteer fire fighters are often a rural area’s first and only line of defense," said West Central’s Woodward location manager, Tim Cerretti of the donation. "Along with specialized rescue techniques, this equipment gives our local first responder crews what is necessary for a successful rescue."

For more information about or to participate in Grain Bin Safety Week in 2014, go to GrainBinSafetyWeek.com or follow Nationwide Agribusiness on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.