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Contest honors barn restoration efforts

For the second year, Friends of Minnesota Barns (FoMB) is seeking local barn owners to enter their barn into FoMB's 2009 Barn of the Year Award contest.

Last year, which was the first year of the contest, entries came from 36 Minnesota counties. This year FoMB has the goal to have statewide coverage.

New this year, every qualified entry will receive a small gift for entering.

FoMB is a non-profit organization that actively supports efforts to keep traditional barns and other historic farm buildings part of Minnesota's rural landscape.

Between 1987 and 2000, 25 percent of Minnesota's historical barns were lost and the rate of barn loss has continued to accelerate. The award program will recognize barn owners who have made efforts to preserve their barn and help to provide examples and ideas for other owners with problem barns.

Barn owners can find contest entry forms on www.friendsofminnesota The completed entry nomination must be returned by September 11, 2009.

The entries will be divided into two new categories: Farm Use and Non-Farm Use. The entries will be judged on historical significance, preservation efforts, preservation creativity, and perceived future of the barn.

An awards ceremony will be part of the group's annual HarvestFest Banquet to be held on December 6. The winner of each category will receive a plaque of preservation recognition, $200 cash, an annual membership to FoMB, recognition in the newsletter and on its website and other donated prizes.

Also, honorable mentions award winners for each category will receive annual memberships to FoMB.

Complete details can be found at or by calling (612) 338-BARN (2276).