Recap: 2022 Conference

MBPN President Tom Irrer (L) and Awards Chair Keith Anderson (R) were back on the podium to host the 2022 MBPN Annual Conference and Member Meeting in East Lansing an Saturday, March 5.
Membership Business Meeting
  • Endowment Update – Past president Brad Brogen explained why the MBPN Endowment is so important…and how the Endowment Committee is working to build that legacy.
  • Michigan Barn and Farmstead Survey Update – MSU’s MATRIX, the Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences, has implemented a new format for this index and documentation of Michigan’s barns. MBPN founding member Vera Wiltse showed how the program works and encouraged members to get involved locally.

Morning Keynote
The Yellow Horse Barn Story
You can’t help but love stories that begin with “The barn was in rough shape,” or it was a “lost cause,” but continues with other phrases such as “a diamond in the rough,” a “man who dreams big,” and “he sees the opportunity in it.” Such is the case with this 2021 Barn of the Year winner, the Yellow Horse Barn, and the man behind its restoration, Perry Neuman. His daughter Tonya and son-in-law Gus Boening are the current owners.

Lunch and Networking
Live Auction to benefit MBPN
Barn of the Year Awards

Our premier program recognizing Michigan’s exceptional barns is now in its 27th year! Keith Anderson, MBPN Awards Chair, announced the entries receiving the Barn of the Year designation for 2022.

How to Organize a Barn Tour

Jana Bullock, who runs the Hadley Homestead Harvest Day farm hop, and Richard Beringer, who organizes the Romeo Historical Society annual barn tour, told us how it’s done. These expert organizers have successfully managed effective and informative tours, even in challenging times!

Michigan’s Dutch Barns
This Dutch style barn near Holland has the distinguishing long sloping roof with eaves close to the ground.
Steve Stier, a past MBPN president, educator, barn consultant and preservationist, showed us Dutch style barns in West Michigan (Ottawa and Allegan counties) and discussed their cultural heritage, architecture and history.

“Can This Barn Be Saved?”

The most frequently posed questions the Network receives may be inquiries from farmstead owners about the possibilities and challenges of saving a barn on their properties. MBPN Treasurer and past president Clare Koenigsknecht explained how the Network helps evaluate and direct barn lovers in this crucial aspect of our mission.