The Maryland Soybean Board (MSB) has partnered with Nationwide for a second year to provide life-saving equipment and training to local fire departments. Funded by the soy checkoff, grain bin rescue tubes and augers were gifted to the Laytonville District Volunteer Fire Department, Marion Fire Department, and Oakland Fire Department, along with an additional auger for the Anne Arundel County Fire & EMS Department. The Maryland Soybean Board also sponsored retraining for the Funkstown Volunteer Fire Company to keep them prepared to use their existing equipment.
“Farmer-leaders of the Maryland Soybean Board surveyed where in the state there was existing equipment, and where were areas of greatest need,” says MSB Chair Josh Appenzeller as he explained how this year’s recipients were selected. “The gift of this invaluable equipment and training will build resiliency within the farming community.”
To date, MSB has invested $30,000 in Nationwide’s Grain Bin Safety Week program to improve farm safety. Nationwide has been successful in leading this endeavor, awarding tubes and training to 272 fire departments across 31 states since 2014. At least five fire departments have utilized their rescue tubes and training to successfully rescue entrapped workers. Training for the fire departments was led by instructors from the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS). Details of the program can be found by visiting www.grainbinsafetyweek.com.
In Maryland, farmers grow about a half a million acres of soybeans, producing more than 20 million bushels of beans each year. With a value of $173 million to the state’s economy, soybeans are one of Maryland’s top crops. The checkoff program is funded by farmers through an assessment of one-half of one percent of the net market value of their soybeans at the first point of sale. One-half of the checkoff funds stay in Maryland for programs; the other half is sent to the United Soybean Board.
For more information on the Maryland Soybean Board, visit www.mdsoy.com.