Iowa Barn Foundation

Iowa Barn Foundation

25 Years of Working To Preserve Iowa's Barns

Like to Do Something ‘Different’ on a Weekend in June?

This is the Iowa Barn Foundation’s 25 year anniversary! Our spring area tour this year will focus on barns in the area around Ellsworth, Story City, and Radcliffe that used to be the turkey canter of Iowa. Turkey barns are no longer dominant, but the area has many unique and historic barns. It is a center for barns that once housed the unique, now rare, American Cream horses. The tour will Include the Rierson barn where American Creams originated. Click here for the 2022 Spring Tour.

The self-guided June barn tour is free and opened to the public. The tour is on Saturday and Sunday, June 25 and 26. The self-guided tour, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. is free. Woodland Farms, a sixth generation family farm, is providing a lunch featuring turkey, on Sunday at 11:30 on the grounds of the Story City History Museum, 619 Grand Avenue, Story City. For reservations for the lunch, please send a check for $9 per meal by June 21st, made out to the Iowa Barn Foundation, c/o Roxanne Mehlish, 17590 730th Street, Zearing, Iowa 50278.


Note to IBF Members about AmazonSmile.

The Iowa Barn Foundation would like to alert our members to an Amazon rewards program. For every purchase you make by using AmazonSmile, Amazon will make a donation to your designated beneficiary. We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to contribute to the Iowa Barn Foundation. For more information, go to the webpage, where you can read more about it by clicking on their link, Learn more about AmazonSmile.


Help Save Iowa's Barns by becoming a Member today

There are over 1500 members of the Iowa Barn Foundation. This is a special year to become a member of the Iowa Barn Foundation.


We always see the exteriors of barns, but about the interiors?

But, the interior often reveals the story of the complexities of building the structure. Often the interiors are works of art that are hidden. Look at the interior of your barn--especially the ceiling. Would not others like to see it? Take a photo of it and send it to us along with a little history of the barn and its builder.

The 100 year-old Smith barn - click on the photo for the story.
Smith Barn Interior

Also, we are interested in sharing photos of "marks" in the barn that might indicate its age or who built it. We have found dates written in barn closets. Please send to Iowa barn Foundation Magazine, 5327 Mandell, Houston, TX 77005. Or e- mail to:

Everybody has a story (see our Barn Stories page)

Do you have a story or photos about barns that you would like to share with our Iowa Barn Foundation Magazine readers or our website viewers?  Submit your words, photos, or story ideas to Jacqueline Schmeal, 5327 Mandell, Houston, TX 77005.

Thank you. We would love to hear from you. And we are interested in knowing about barn-related activities around Iowa.


Our primary Mission

Barns, America's symbols of honesty, integrity, and the American dream, are disappearing from Iowa's countryside at a rapid rate. With mechanized agriculture of today, barns are no longer the center of the farm.

But, they remain poignant reminders of our agricultural heritage.

Founded in 1997, the Iowa Barn Foundation, an all-volunteer, all-state organization, is dedicated to preserving Iowa's rural agricultural buildings. The Iowa Barn Foundation is an Iowa non-profit corporation with tax-exempt status under paragraph 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

The primary mission of the Iowa Barn Foundation is to educate the public about the significance and importance of Iowa's barns through the Iowa Barn Foundation Magazine and our Barn Tours. It raises money to provide barn rehabilitation or restoration matching grants to help property owners restore their barns.

In addition, property owners who use their own funds to restore or rehabilitate barns that would otherwise qualify for a matching grant, are eligible to receive an Iowa Barn Foundation Award of Distinction. Award of Distinction icon Take a look at some of the restored barns that have been featured on the IBF Barn Tours since 2001.

The Iowa Barn Foundation, in keeping with its mission to preserve Iowa's agricultural heritage, accepts economically and financially self-sustaining farms and farmland. Through the foundation's farm conservancy, these farms and farmland are saved in perpetuity for agricultural purposes according to the owner's wishes.

We need your help to preserve Iowa's barns! All of the funds to rehabilitate and restore Iowa's barns come solely from private donations. Make a donation or become a member of the Iowa Barn Foundation today!

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Kenneth Ruegsegger, Mount Pleasant

There are those who give their lives trying to make a better society. Kenneth Ruesegger, Mount Pleasant , was one of those. His passing was a loss to Iowa, to barns, to America. He was one of those hard working people generous of spirit.

He and his wife, Marilyn, attended a barn tour and saw that signage was minimal. An expert in carpentry, the offered to make signs and take them around the state. So, for many years, Joe created the beautiful directional signs, and he and Marilyn drove from corner to corner of the state personally delivering the handmade signs to owners of barns on tour. It was a huge job--a labor of love.

These were special people who gave time, talent and effort to enrich the Iowa Barn Foundation--to enrich Iowa.

We'll still see some of those lovely signs. And, we will still stop and think of the wonderful couple who dedicated so much time to make the tour, Iowa, even better. We will always be grateful. Thank you, Marilyn and Ken.

Jacqueline Andre Schmeal, President Emeritus

Jason Zabokrsky, Troy Mills, wrote:

"Barns symbolize the agricultural heritage of those who founded the state of Iowa. That agricultural heritage is synonymous with important values. These values include dedication to hard work, honesty, integrity, family, and community...

...As barns are destroyed a valuable part of our heritage is also lost. If Iowans lost these historic barns from the landscape, one may posit that Iowans will begin to lose sight of the important values of hard work, honesty, integrity, family, and community which they represent."

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© 1997-2022 Iowa Barn Foundation. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without express written permission from the Iowa Barn Foundation. Updated 05-11-22.
To contact us, go to our Contact Page.