Recognition Award Winner
Year of Award: 2000
Original Use: Dairy
Current Use: Hay, Livestock, Straw
Wayne Zuelch likes the look of old barns. "I think a farm looks better with an old barn on it," he says. The 80-year-old, gambrel-roofed basement barn on his 220-acre Minnesota farm has seen many uses since Wayne's father purchased the farm in 1967. "It's never sat empty," says Wayne. "The barn has always been used for hay and straw storage and livestock. We've used it for beef cows, feeding steers, farrowing sows and finishing hogs."
In 1988, Wayne and Helen Zuelch bought the farm from Wayne's parents, and began work on the old barn. Although the barn had been in constant use over the years, and kept in general repair, its age was starting to show. They hired a barn repair company to straighten and brace the walls and roof, and replace the crumbling rock foundation. New asphalt shingles and a coat of red paint completed the $10,000 rehabilitation project.
Wayne finishes 70 – 80 head of hogs at a time in the barn, adding between 200 – 300 hogs per year. "It works well for hogs because of its construction," he says. Looking back, Wayne says he might not have fixed up the barn for finishing hogs, but he would have used it for cattle or other livestock. "No matter what, I would have fixed it because I like old barns," he says.