In an effort to rescue farmers from grain entrapment, Greg and Jodi Rush donated funds to the Boone County Fire District for the purchase of rescue tubes. The Sturgeon farm family was a winner of $2,500 from America's Farmers Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto fund.
"The fire department is near and dear to my heart," Jodi Rush said.
"Greg and I have worked together for a long time, and both Greg and Jodi are part of our fire district family," explained Boon County Fire Chief Scott Olsen. "We are grateful for their assistance in these tough times."
According to Olsen, the fire department is like a big family. The Boone County Fire District is an organization Jodi has been involved with for many years, and her husband Greg is the volunteer assistant chief.
With 265 volunteer firefighters and 22 support staff members, the Boone County Fire District is the third largest fire department in the state, and the largest volunteer department in Missouri. It serves 500 square miles of mostly rural and agricultural areas and responds to fires, emergency medical calls and rescue missions.
"The men and women that volunteer at the fire department are so dedicated," Jodi said. "Many times they drop everything they are doing, including family obligations, to put out a fire or to save someone's life."
The Boone County Fire District used this donation to help purchase its first two grain bin rescue tubes. Even as the rate of serious injury and fatalities on American farms has fallen, the number of workers dying by entrapment in grain bins and silos has remained stubbornly steady, according to a recent article published in The New York Times.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
"We are very thankful that we received this donation from Jodi and the Monsanto Fund," Olsen said. "Before now, we did not have the capability to save a person from a grain bin accident, and now we have that tool and can provide a higher level of service to our community."
Reaching rural areas
America's Farmers Grow Communities gives winning farmers the opportunity to direct a $2,500 donation to a nonprofit organization in their county. Farmers have helped fund more than 5,200 organizations in rural America through America's Farmers Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. Thanks to famers across Missouri, $852,500 has been invested in rural communities throughout the state with $85,000 being donated to fire- and health-related organizations.
The program launched nationally in 2011 and has grown to include 1,289 eligible counties in 39 states. To support counties declared natural disaster areas by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) due to the drought last year, winning farmers in these counties, which included Boone County, Mo., were able to direct double donations, a total of $5,000, to local nonprofits.
Farmers and rural community members can now visit www.GrowCommunities.com and register to win or submit an idea in need of funding. This program is part of the Monsanto Fund's overall effort to support rural education and communities.