Recognition Award Winner
Year of Award: 1999
Original Use: Cattle, Grain, Hay, Horses, Livestock
Current Use: Cattle, Equipment Storage, Grain, Hay, Straw
Earl Knuth is proud of his family's barn, which is a landmark in the Cairo, Nebraska, area. The barn was built by his grandfather and great-uncle in 1919. The lumber and supplies for the barn were shipped by rail to Abbott, Nebraska, and transported the two miles to the farm by horse and buggy. It's an all-purpose barn, built to store hay and grain and house horses, cows and other farm animals. Today, the Knuths take advantage of the barn's huge haymow to store hay, straw and grain. The lower story is used for processing cattle, calving and storing grain and machinery. "It's a good old barn," says Earl. "We use it every day."
The barn had been well cared for through the years by the Knuth family, but when Earl and his wife Delyce moved to the farm in 1991 they decided to invest in the barn's future. They applied 47 gallons of red paint and 18 gallons of white trim paint, at a cost of $3,246. In 1998 they tackled the roof. They stripped off the original wood shingles and several layers of asphalt shingles, and replaced them with new asphalt shingles and white metal trim. The new roof cost $8,984, making their total investment in the building $12,230. Earl figures they saved $40,000 over the cost of building a new barn, and saved a family and regional landmark as well.
The Knuths raise corn, alfalfa, soybeans and cattle on their 160-acre farm.