Barn of the Year

Awards Chair Keith Anderson congratulates the winners at the 2019 annual conference.

The Barn of the Year program honors existing Michigan barns that exemplify outstanding character in our state. Over the past two decades, a total of 84 barns from across Michigan have been recognized for their unique qualities and/or preservation efforts.

Nominations are open to the public. MBPN Awards Committee members review the submissions and determine the winners. 


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


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.

Four items are required for the submission:

Submit Your Nomination

To review and print out the 2020 nomination form, click here. For questions or to request a hard copy of the form, contact the program chairman, Keith Anderson.  E-mail: or Mobile: 616-540-6701.  

Nominations must be postmarked by January 25, 2020. Winners will be announced on Feb. 29 at the MBPN Annual Conference.

Click here to see database of Barn of the Year winners  from 1997 to 2016. 

2019 Winners Set Example

Mt. Bruce Barn

Owner: Peter Uhlianuk

Location: Romeo (Macomb County) in Southeast Michigan

Category: Continuing Agriculture

Use: Livestock barn

Prairie Bells Barn

Owners: Jim and Julia DeYoung

Location: Belding (Ionia County) in West Michigan

Category: Adaptive – Privately Owned

Use: Wedding and special events venue

Samels Barn

Owner: Samels Family Historical Society

Location: Williamsburg (Grand Traverse County) in Northern Michigan

Category: Adaptive – Non-profit

Use: Living history farmstead

2019 Awards Presentation

The awards were presented on June 1, 2019 at Dawn Farm in Ypsilanti as part of the annual conference of the Michigan Barn Preservation Network.

Mt. Bruce Barn

Romeo, MI

Peter Uhlianuk (middle) receives the 2019 Barn of the Year Award for continuing agricultural use from Tom Irrer, MBPN president, (far left) and Keith Anderson, Awards chair, (far right).

Prairie Bells Barn

Belding, MI

Jim and Julia DeYoung receive the 2019 Barn of the Year award for restoration of Prairie Bells Barn. Pictured L to R: Tom Irrer, MBPN president; Julia DeYoung, owner; Jim DeYoung, owner; Chelsea Stitt, American Heritage Restoration; Keith Anderson, Awards chair; and Chad Stitt, American Heritage Restoration.

Samels Barn

Williamsburg, MI

On behalf of the Samels Family Heritage Society, Susan and Bob Hall (middle) accept the 2019 Barn of the Year Award for non-profit adaptive use from Tom Irrer, MBPN president, (far left) and Keith Anderson, Awards chair, (far right).