Recognition Award Winner
Year of Award: 1998
Original Use: Dairy, Hay
Current Use: Equipment Storage
Ron Layton raises alfalfa, onions, barley and wheat on a Utah Century Farm founded by his great-grandfather in the 1870s. He produces 1,500 bags of onions per acre on this prime farmland just 25 miles north of Salt Lake City. He recently converted the old dairy barn built by his grandfather in 1900 to provide much needed storage space for onion crates, tractors, trucks, irrigation gates, farm equipment, and overflow storage for onions.
Heavy snows in 1991 caused about one-third of the barns in the Layton area to collapse, and high winds of up to 100 mph blew others down. Ron didn't want his family barn to meet that fate, so he reinforced the interior of the barn by adding extra bracing to interior supports, and strengthening wood joints with metal straps and bolts. He re-nailed the old siding with 2-inch galvanized staples, then power washed, scraped and painted it. He applied 50 gallons of linseed oil to the wood shingled roof.
The barn rehabilitation project cost him about $2,750, netting him inexpensive storage space in a family landmark. He is also restoring the family farmhouse, built in 1882, and the garage. "I've been on this farm all my life," says Ron. "I appreciate the beauty of an old farmstead. I'm trying to fix this place up without making it look new."