Bussell Farms, Inc.

Recognition Award Winner

Location: Montana
Year of Award: 2007
Original Use: Dairy, Hay, Horses
Current Use: Calving, Equipment Storage, Hay, Horses

Bussell Farms, Inc.-Shelby, MT after rehabilitation.

Doug and Ruby Bussell's family homesteaded their 3,800-acre Montana farm in 1913.  The first modern building that went up on the property was a state-of-the-art round arch barn, erected in 1919.  Doug and Ruby say that, "although Grandma Helinger would have rather had a home to replace the one-room shack that housed nine people, the family knew that a proper barn was critical to the survival of the livestock and successful farming." 

The family has worked to keep the barn in good condition over the decades.  Originally left untreated, the barn's wood siding received an initial coat of paint in 1965, necessitated by the harsh Montana winters.  Since then, the barn has been repainted three times.  Repairs to the interior floor joists and concrete floors have been completed, along with a roof replacement. 

The barn is still the centerpiece of the farm, used for saddle horses, calving, small tractor storage and hay storage. And, when the barn started to deteriorate, in 1965, the Bussells knew that they were faced with the decision between preservation and starting over. They chose to preserve their barn because it, "has been a well known and visible landmark structure for the region, visible for miles due to the flat land and absence of trees," say the Bussells.