Iowa Barn Foundation

18 Years of Working To Preserve Iowa's Barns

2016 All-State Barn Tour will be held Saturday, Sept 24 & Sunday, Sept 25, 8:30am-5:30pm.

This is the 16th year of our largest annual tour. Important and historic barns throughout Iowa will be opened to the public during the Iowa Barn Foundation’s two-day, self-guided all-state barn tour. It will be held Saturday, Sept 24 and Sunday, Sept 25, 8:30am-5:30pm. Click here for details.

Rimathe Barn

2016 Spring Tour explored historic barns in the Dubuque area.

The Dubuque County Historic Preservation Commission gave help to enrich this tour which featured early Iowa barns.  Some of the earliest are in that picturesque and nearby counties.

This is a area where barns are still highly regarded for their history.

The tour was held Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, June 26, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Click here for 2016 Spring Tour details.

Spring Tour flyer


News from the Iowa Barn Foundation

   ⚫ Just a reminder to IBF members to volunteer for the booth during the 2016 Iowa State Fair. Email Ginnie Hargis & Ron McBroom at:, or call them at 515-834-2026.

   ⚫ Grant amounts increased for Small Barn Painting projects (11-03-15)

  ⚫ The Iowa Barn Foundation is now providing incentives for barn owners to take advantage of tax credits that are available from the federal government and the state of Iowa (Aug 2015).

  ⚫ Report from our booth at the 2015 Iowa State Fair in August is below- click for Report.

  ⚫ "Barns: Icons of Our Agricultural Past."  This article about Dubuque Area barns appeared in the July 2015 issue of Julien's Journal (PDF).

  ⚫ Two new messages on our Messageboard regarding barn contractors.


REMINDER - The Iowa Barn Foundation has initiated a program to highlight and preserve small barns in Iowa with the Small Barn Painting Project.  IBF members can get 40-percent off on Vogel Paints.

View a video from a WHO-TV newscast. WHO-TV presented a 5-minute feature about restoration of area barns made possible by the Iowa Barn Foundation, on their 10 o'clock newscast, May 20, 2014.

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 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 DistinctionAward of Distinction icon.  Take a look at some of the restored barns that have been featured on the 2001-2013 IBF Barn Tours.

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!

Looking for the perfect holiday cards or gifts?  Check out the Iowa Barn Foundation Store.

Preservation Alerts

(Watch this space for news about historic barns and other important agricultural buildings in Iowa that desperately need your help).

Read newspaper accounts of the scheduled dismantling of a barn in September 2013
         Ames Tribune
         Story City Herald

Report from the 2015 Iowa State Fair

Report from 2015 Iowa State Fair Chairs, Ginnie Hargis and Ron McBroom:

"Things went well at the Fair Booth. Lots of questions about grants, etc. I estimate we handed out about 900 magazines. We received a white ribbon (3rd place) for our display of antique/primitive farm tools."

"The County Reps who took our challenge and volunteered for the booth were:
Adair Co. - Brian Vandewater;
Allamakee/Winneshiek Co. - Marlene Fensterman;
Appanoose Co. - Marilyn Vanderlinden;
Hardin Co. - Ken Starek;
Marion Co. - Rob Vos;
Polk Co. - Ober Anderson & Don Jordahl;
Sioux Co. - Leroy & Wanda Intveld;
Warren Co. - Cheryl Eftink.

And of course, Ron & I."

"Others who worked the booth were: John Bolton, John & Mary Ann Boriskey, Andrea Corcoran, Karol & Katie Hargis, Pam Hemping, Jaime McBroom, Lori Ryner, Courtney Siglin, and Jean Wadle."

"We really appreciated all those who donated their time to volunteer and visit with people at the Fair."

 "ALSO: Thank you to folks who worked at the State Fair in 2013.  They were Brian Vandewater, John Bolton, Don Jordahl, Ober Anderson, Terry and Sue Jensen, Cheryl Eftink and Jean Wadle, Lori Ryner, Leroy Intveld, Carl Gray, Andrea Corcoran, Ruth Patience, and Mary Ann Boriskey.  Ginnie Hargis and Ron McBroom headed up this effort and worked many shifts."

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© 1997-2016 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 07-18-16.


The Iowa Barn Foundation: Helping to preserve Iowa's agricultural heritage one barn at a time.


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Iowa State Map


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 last week 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.


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."