Silo, the film, highlights grain collapse dangers and brings new safety devices to rural communities.

Author: Chris Williams, Published: 10/11/19

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — (WHAS11)-Part of our area became Hollywood for part of summer and, Saturday, the film makes its Kentucky debut at the Louisville Film Festival.
But this picture is doing more than entertain. “Silo” is a life-saving mission and the production already improved safety for farmers in some of our communities. 
Quint Pottinger and his dad work their slice of Kentucky paradise in Larue County. A Pottinger has farmed this land since shortly after the Revolutionary War.
Silos dot the landscape. They’re an architectural icon of America.
These shining silver symbols lured a film crew here last harvest.

“Most people in the industry would have thought it was a safety film, to begin with”, explained Quint Pottinger. “It's actually a film about community, especially rural communities and the struggles you go through with the people that live around you. And when tragedy strikes, you just have to find a way to come together.”

Silo, the film, also spotlights a common danger. Every year, farmers are killed by grain collapse. Purdue University reported a 2018 increase in a number of entrapments (30) and deaths (15).
Quint took us inside an empty silo to explain that, as grain is poured in from the top, a mechanism on the bottom sometimes gets clogged so farmers climb in to break the clog with long poles.
When that clog clears, the grain can quickly pour out and suck a person underneath, trapping and suffocating them.
Many now wear harnesses to prevent getting stuck and are urged to work in teams.
Film production included several local fire departments... the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and brought in new safety devices designed to break those clogs and help first responders save lives.

“Because of this film in our area, we've been able to get a grain safety tube in nearly every volunteer fire department around here”, Pottinger said. “And just the actual awareness of what has happened, I think, has gotten people thinking twice.”
The goal is to get the film in rural communities across the country. But Quint and producers feel it's already doing its job of not just entertaining but saving lives by reminding people of the dangers that come with working to feed the world.

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