Jan Corey Arnett

Barn Features

In August 2013, Michigan Farmer magazine asked me to begin writing a monthly article on barns. When the magazine merged with American Agriculturist, I offered to write less often and invite barn lovers from other states to share stories of their wonderful barns. We all benefit! Visit www.farmprogress.com.

Barn Features

“This Old Barn, Still Standing,” June/July 2019, Farm & Ranch Living. Farmandranchliving.com

“Barn Believers,” June 2019, Michigan Farm News, a Farm Bureau publication

“Barn Believers Community Project Fund,” March, 8, 2019, Greenstone Farm Credit Services (/resources/open-fields-blog/2019/03082019-barn-believers)

Michigan Mystery Barn series.”  A monthly feature, celebrating interesting barns around the state.

Climax Crescent, March 1, 2013

"Local author working on book about barns," Battle Creek Enquirer, Nov. 6, 2012 (www.battlecreekenquirer.com)

"Barn Crusader Jan Corey Arnett, '75" www.albion.edu/ia/alumniengagement/io-triumphe (Fall 2012-Winter 2013 edition, page 16)

The Farmer's Exchange, "Repurposing Gives New Life, Beauty to Old Barns," and Advocate Says Barn Restoration is Worth Time, Money." December 28, 2012.

Marion Press Publishing LLC, “One barn, two people, and many admirers.” Nov. 1, 2012,

Farmers’ Advance, “Grandpa’s barn has a new life,” June 20, 2012, www.farmersadvance.com 

Michigan Farmer, “The future of Grandpa’s barn,” July 2012, www.FarmProgress.com/michigan-farmer

Scenic Michigan Newsletter, “Signature Barns and Scenic Michigan,” Summer 2012, www.scenicmichigan.org

Farmers’ Advance, “What should we do with Grandpa’s barn?” July 25, 2012, www.farmersadvance.com 

Michigan Farmer, “New uses increase value of old barns,” August 2012, www.FarmProgress.com/michigan-farmer

Farmers’ Advance, “Saving Heritage Barns,” Sept. 1, 2012, www.farmersadvance.com

Fair Food Network website, www.fairfoodnetwork.org/,  “Information Sought on Heritage Barns.” Dec. 2, 2011

Farmers’ Exchange, “Old Barns Contain Hidden Assets” June 3, 2011, http://www.farmers-exchange.net/detailPage.aspx?articleID=9959 (articles were also carried in 2012, dates uncertain)

Getz-Milk Dairy

Getz-Milk Dairy, Wilson, Michigan, transformed the ground level of its original barn from an old to a new use by making it a raised, double-eight milking parlor for the more than 400 Holsteins milked there, three times each day. A portion of the barn serves as a break room and laundry area while the loft continues to be used for straw storage. The Getzloff Family farms 1,200 acres in addition to its dairy operation.

What You Can Do

  • If a barn in your area would make a great media feature because it is being given a new life, has an interesting story, or is threatened, speak out. Awareness can make a difference.

  • Be a leader in encouraging people in a position of power to work for change in the insurance, real estate, zoning, estate planning, state-level preservation policies, and development fields.

  • Become an advocate for a barn that could be saved with some help from a friend. Could it be patched enough to be stabilized? Could it be moved and given new life?

  • Encourage schools, community colleges, and vo-ed centers to develop curriculum that incorporates training to assess the condition of barns, calculate repair costs, do the actual repair work, and manage the finances, customer relations and other aspects of becoming a specialist in barn repair.

  • Photograph barns you see and document when, where, and what you can about them.

  • Donate your collections and encourage elderly family members to donate collections of barn-related memorabilia to historical societies.

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