View of a grain bin silo

What started out as simply telling a compelling story has turned into a new calling for Sam Goldberg, SILO film producer. It’s also a passion for Nationwide in our work in protecting America’s agriculture community.

After Goldberg learned of a 2010 incident in Illinois in which two young men lost their lives from grain entrapment, the Manhattan, New York, film producer knew he needed to tell the story. So was born SILO, a 2021 film that tells the story of a grain entrapment, its victims, survivors, first responders and many community members affected by it. It’s a calling that’s shared by Nationwide in the annual hosting of Grain Bin Safety Week and year-round activities to reduce the number of preventable injuries and deaths associated with grain handling and storage.

Andrew McCrea and Sam Goldberg on SILO and its impact on rural America

“In our partnership with Nationwide, we’ve worked to provide resources for communities around grain bin entrapment and rescue. It’s a great example of the kind of valuable social impact we can have when we work together,” Goldberg said. “SILO has become an educational tool for communities, FFA, 4-H to use the film as a cautionary tale of what can happen if you're not safe on the farm, but also an empathy-producing tool to care about what's happening on the farm.”

Since 2014, Nationwide has partnered with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) to raise awareness about grain bin dangers, share safety best practices and provide education, including grain rescue training for first responders.

The lessons of SILO

The film shows and tells a fictional story in which a group of farmers become trapped in a grain bin, later documenting the toll of the situation on the victims and others in a rural community. It’s a situation that’s unfolded countless times around the country. In fact, the story is based on first-hand accounts Goldberg learned in speaking with family members of victims and others with close ties to past instances of entrapment.

“What I didn't realize is that grain entrapment is quite prevalent and rips communities apart,” he said. “The more families, first responders and other people who have experienced loss from grain entrapment, the more personal it became.”

Goldberg is now working to not just promote the film around rural America, but to develop community education programs through organizations like 4-H and FFA. These efforts — alongside work he’s done with Nationwide to raise grain bin safety awareness — will ultimately add to the dialog crucial for saving lives otherwise lost or permanently altered from grain entrapment.

Creating positive rural social impact

With his experience from SILO, Goldberg said he’s looking ahead to another project in agriculture. Much like SILO, it will demonstrate not just the sometimes under-reported challenges of agriculture but also their common root causes.

“Farmers are stressed. That's what I try to hit on in the educational work we’re doing around SILO,” Goldberg said. “Farmers can be aware of that stress, why they're feeling more anxiety and what they can do to get help. We can help take away the stigma of stress and anxiety.”

SILO is now available to rent or buy on numerous streaming platforms. See more about the film and work Goldberg is doing to raise grain entrapment awareness. Learn more about grain entrapment and grain bin safety at

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