Notes From The Farmer’s Daughter – Saving Ontario Barns

This week, I was feeling a little short on time and inspiration. I feared that I might not be getting a column in, that is, until I received an email from Kim Lulashnyk, Chairperson of the Newboro and Area Heritage Society.

Kim told me about an upcoming presentation that she felt was right up my alley, “Saving Ontario Barns – An Evening with Randy Bagg.” I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was to see this topic being discussed.

Old barns are near and dear to my heart, having worked alongside my father in a few different old barns over the years. I cherish those memories of putting in a hard day’s work and bonding with the animals while learning everything I know about cattle from the man I’ve looked up to all my life.

I also remember helping him build forms to make new pens, build feeders, and put automated barn cleaners in some of these old relics. I have assisted my husband, who raised one old barn from complete collapse and reboarded another, as he, too, sees the value in these structures.

As a sixth-generation farmer, these old barns are part of my heritage. Thus, I eagerly await the presentation hosted by Newboro and Area Heritage Society, which will take place at Newboro Community Hall on Monday, February 19th, at 7 pm. Kim says the “enlightening evening will include a deep dive into the rich history and cultural significance of Ontario barns. Attendees will learn about the efforts being taken to preserve these iconic structures.”

According to Kim, the evening agenda will include:

  • An opportunity to learn about the architecture and our barns’ vital role in our rural landscape.
  • A chance to learn how to preserve, renovate and repurpose old barns.
  • Time to connect and network with like-minded barn enthusiasts.
  • A discussion on advocating for old barn preservation at the government level and exploring funding opportunities.

The event is free, and all are welcome to join in what promises to be an interesting and inspiring evening. The organization appreciates donations to assist in its mission to save Ontario barns. To learn more, check out or attend the meeting in person.

I will be saving the date to find out what help there might be to save our old barns and perhaps even our old wooden silo to help them stand proud once again.

My father, Neil Banks, fearlessly doing some repairs on the barn roof many years ago.

My husband, Jason Hammond, doing some repairs many years later on the same barn.

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