Barn of the Year

2024 Awards will be presented at Annual Conference on Feb. 24

The Barn of the Year Program annually honors barns that support our ongoing mission to preserve Michigan’s agricultural heritage exemplified by its barns. The awards recognize barn owners who have made the extra effort to maintain or restore historic barns. In the past 28 years of the award’s existence, 108 Michigan barns have been recognized for their unique qualities and/or preservation efforts.

To be eligible, the barn must be in-use, either for continued agricultural purposes or adapted for other uses. Barns must retain their overall appearance — both in their interior and exterior barn characteristics.

Here’s How to Enter Your Barn

Award categories cover barns that continue to be used for agriculture and those that are adapted for other uses and whether the barn is family-owned or the project of a non-profit or commercial entity.

  • Continuing Agricultural Use – Family (Private), Non-Profit or Commercial
  • Adapted to Other Uses – Family (Private), Non-Profit or Commercial


Nominated barns are judged on (1) completeness of information presented in the application, (2) sensitivity and integrity of repairs or modifications, (3) visual appeal, (4) creativity, (5) thoroughness of work and (6) effort expended to repair and maintain.

Application Components:

Four items are required for the submission:

Nominations for the 2024 awards are closed. The three-month window for submitting applications for 2025 will begin Oct. 15, 2024.

Click here to see application form and detailed instructions.

Application materials may be scanned and e-mailed to: [email protected] or via a thumb drive mailed to:
MBPN Barn of Year Committee
11530 Peach Ridge Ave.
Sparta, MI 49345

For questions, contact the program chairman, Keith Anderson.  E-mail: [email protected] or Mobile: 616-540-6701.  

Profiles of the Barn of the Year winners and Parade of Great Michigan Barns for 2024 coming soon.

Seven barns and their owners were awarded the “Barn of the Year” designation for 2023 at the Michigan Barn Preservation Network’s annual conference on March 4 in East Lansing. They are pictured below.

Continuing Agriculture Winners

Pond House Farm Barn—Manton, MI (Wexford County), Jim &Theresa Williams Family

Ebers Barn—Comstock Park, MI (Kent County), John Ebers & Family

Top L to R: Pawlusiak Barn, Maple Woods Farm Barn, Unruh Barn. Middle: Barn 1888. Bottom L: Murphy Barn

Adaptive Use Winners

Maple Woods Farm BarnFarmington Hills, MI (Oakland County), Lee & Floy Barthel, Earl Baxtresser

Pawlusiak BarnClinton, MI (Washtenaw County), Robert & Lois Pawlusiak

Murphy Barn—Rochester Hills, MI (Oakland County), Keith & Kelly Murphy

Barn 1888—Hopkins, MI (Allegan County), Bryan & Danielle Howarth

Unruh Barn—Okemos, MI (Ingham County), Meridian Charter Township

Click here for their profiles.

Also visit the Barn of the Year slide show displaying pictures of the 18 nominated barns — BEFORE, DURING and AFTER their transformation.

Past Awardees 

Click here for database of Barn of the Year winners from 1997 to 2016. Also see  showcase of winners from 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023.