Testimony of Doug DeGroff – August 27, 2009

Doug DeGroff

Doug was pulling a routine silage sample from a feed-out face that was nearly perfect and looked completely safe. The height of the face was only 11 or 12 feet. As he walked away from the pile, the sun went out … 20 tons of silage fell on him.

“I didn’t hear a thing. The only thing I saw was the sun going out. I knew what was happening before it actually hit me … It registered in my brain that the feed is coming down. Immediately it hit me, and I went to the ground.”

“I remember thinking I don’t want to die here today! While I was able to push silage away from my face with one hand, my other arm was trapped below me. Thankfully, I was able to brush the feed away from my head.”

Fully recovered, Doug says, “Here I am and everything works. I am physically, mentally and spiritually healthier today than I was on August 27, 2009.”


Testimony of Al Kruse, consulting nutritionist for Nutri-Tech, Inc., Sterling, KS – August 5, 2017

A necessary part of my job as a beef cattle nutritionist is collecting samples of silage. In the spring of 1983, I was collecting a sample of high-moisture grain sorghum in a bunker silo at a feedyard in central Kansas. I had performed this task hundreds of times before. As a feedyard employee and I approached the feed-out face, it suddenly collapsed and buried me. Fortunately, the falling grain did not hit the employee. The heel of my boot was exposed, and I was pulled from the silage. I regained consciousness in the ambulance and spent 24 hours in the hospital for observation.

“After my near-miss experience, I started taking samples from a payloader bucket after it was moved to a safe distance from the feed-out face. If no one is available to operate the payloader, I simply do not pull a sample! The ‘buddy rule’ probably saved my life that afternoon.“


Testimony of Richard Porter, Porter Cattle Co., Reading, KS – February 16, 2017

“I was buried in a bunker silo in 1962 when I was 12 years old.  One of our employees, Jim Hannigan, was using an Ensiloader to load the feed wagon.  He was on one side and I was on the other side to scoop the material that fell to the outside of the loading box.  Jim had just gone to advance the tractor and Ensiloader into the feed-out face of silage when the cave-in occurred.  Because Jim was farther away and on the tractor seat, he was not covered.  I was next to the face of the bunker, and completely covered with about 2 feet of silage.  Jim dug me out by hand in less than a minute.  If he had not gone to move the tractor forward when the avalanche occurred, we would have both been killed.”

“When I was buried, I immediately knew what happened.  In this “near death” experience, I never saw a light, angels, or my life pass before me, as is sometimes reported in near death experiences.  I felt no pain and was in total peace, knowing I would soon be dead.  Then in the few seconds between when the rescuer first touched me and when he pulled me out to breathe, there was huge pain in my lungs wanting to get breath, and pain from one of my legs being doubled behind me.  Other than literally having the crap knocked out of me, I suffered no injury.”