Iowa Barn Foundation

County representatives for the Iowa Barn Foundation

County Representatives - scroll down or click here for the list

The Iowa Barn Foundation's county representatives help to promote the preservation of barns, organize the surveying of barns in their counties, encourage membership in the Iowa Barn Foundation, and help with fund raising.  Working with members of the board from each of nine areas of the state, they also help to oversee projects.

Shortly after the Iowa Barn Foundation was launched in 1997, board member, Dr.Neil Harl, agricultural economist at Iowa State University, said, "We need to have county representatives - a representative for each county." And, so the Iowa Barn Foundation started recruiting barn-interested folks to take on those jobs. The board started with folks they knew, like dairyman Joe Lyon, Toledo, now in his eighties and still on the board.

The board learned about county representative candidates from tours, from hearsay, and from notes from interested folks inquiring about the foundation. One man called to offer wood from an old barn he was going to take down. He was talked into restoring the glorious, historic family barn as well as being a county representative.

The county representatives encouraged interest in barns, which they saw vulnerable because of the diminished role of barns on farms. Many of the representatives had grown up working in the family barn, and cared that they were preserved so people today would appreciate their history and their important role in making Iowa the premier agriculture state.

These representatives took calls from county residents inquiring about grants given by the Iowa Barn Foundation. They have looked for interesting barns in their county that might be part of a tour or eligible for a grant.

Then the Iowa Barn Foundation started All-State Barn Tours and then County Barn Tours. The first was orchestrated by Winneshiek and Allamakee representatives, Marlene and Duane Fensterman. They worked tirelessly finding historic barns in northeast Iowa. So many folks attended the tour from Iowa and beyond that they ran out of capons that were being served for lunch. The work of the Fenstermans is enduring. Later the New York Times ran a major story on the barns in that area, and people come from everywhere to see the northeast Iowa barns.

  ⚫ Through the years, county representatives have organized tours in many counties. The Iowa Barn Foundation All-State Barn Tour has become an annual event that folks look forward to enjoying.

  ⚫ Coordinating a county barn tour is one of the roles of county representatives. (This would probably only happen once.)

  ⚫ A county representative is a contact in the county for folks wanting to know about Iowa Barn Foundation barn preservation grants.

  ⚫ The representative is a friend to barns that need to be discovered and preserved.

  ⚫ The representative is a "barn historian" - sending interesting information on historic barns in their county to the foundation and to the Iowa Barn Foundation Magazine.

  ⚫ And, the representative is a recruiter of barn-interested folks encouraging them to get involved with barn preservation.

If a barn in the county has received a grant and is on the All-State Barn Tour, the county representative can assist if any coordination is needed. The Iowa Barn Foundation is twenty years old. Some of our devoted county representatives have "retired" from their duties. The foundation hopes that barn-enthusiastic folks will sign up to replace them. The foundation will help each new recruit, so it's an easy transition. Below is a list of present county representatives. Thus, counties not on this list need representatives.

We hope that you will consider signing up and joining our effort. It's really about being a contact. If you have questions, please call...... A county representative can be proud for contributing to Iowa's history - to America's history. We want to save the barns that remain--buildings built by hard-working Iowans. You can help.

Many of Iowa's 99 counties have representatives to the Iowa Barn Foundation.  We welcome volunteers to represent those counties that do not yet have a representative.

County Representatives for Iowa Counties

Adair: Brian Vandewater, 515-450-8848

Allamakee: Marlene Fenstermann, 563-382-3439

Blackhawk: Keith Oltrogge, 319-984-5292

Boone: Steve Rimathe, 515-290-5258 or Email

Bremer: Keith Oltrogge, 319-984-5292

Buchanan: Jim Michels, 319-551-2155

Buena Vista: Becky Bryant, 712-213-0598

Cedar: Sue Robinson, 563-432-7186

Cerro Gordo: Dale and Judy Mills, 641-424-1197, or cell 641-420-9227

Cherokee: Becky Bryant, 712-213-0598

Clark: Ron McBroom/Ginnie Hargis, 515-834-2026

Clinton: Dan and Jolene Witt, 563-212-1307

Dallas: Brian Vandewater, 515-450-8848

Davis: Sharon and Bill Hardy, 641-722-5224

Decatur: Judy Partiage, 641-344-2237

Des Moines: Dale and Julie Bartelt, 319-759-0591

Dubuque: Jack Smith, 563-599-3061

Fayette: Vernon Oakland, 563-423-7122

Floyd: Michael and Rochelle Barrigan, 641-228-3826

Franklin: Gary Bennett, 641-579-6154

Greene: Mary and Larry Richards, 5l5-386-4750

Grundy: Rebecca Engelking, 641-366-3150

Hancock: Thomas Chizek, 641-430-4456

Hamilton: Ron Adams, 515-368-1678

Hardin: Ken Starek, 641-847-30l8

Humboldt: Kurt Weinert, 515-332-4467

Ida: Don Poggensee, 7l2-364-349l

Jackson: Lori Evilsizer, 563-689-6447

Jasper: Rodney J. Hassler, 641-753-3276

Jefferson: Jeffrey Fitz-Randolph, 641-472-7810

Johnson: Wilford Yoder, 319-338-6596

Lee: Brian Foecke, 319-470-0329

Madison: Ron McBroom/Ginnie Hargis, 515-834-2026

Mahaska: The Charles Oldhams 641-969-4272

Marion: Rob Vos, 641-628-8396

Marshall: Rodney J. Hassler, 641-753-3276

Montgomery: The Montgomery County Historical Society, 712-623-2289

Muscatine: Kass Kelly, 563-263-1777 or Email

O'Brien: Pamela Battaglioli, 712-727-3612

Osceola: Carrie Jones, 712-832-3227

Page: Dave Williams, 712-826-8832

Pocahontas: Terry Ferguson, 712-845-4978

Polk: Ober Anderson, 515-964-0964

Pottawattamie: Evan Summy, 712-323-5353

Sac: Jack and Jane Hogue, 712-668-4663

Scott: Susan Frye, 563-285-5570

Shelby: Linda Heflin, 712-744-3660

Story: Roxanne Mehlisch, 641-487-7690; Norma Johnson, 515-707-4428; Steve Rimathe, 515-290-5258 or Email

Tama: Rodney J. Hassler, 641-753-3276

Van Buren: Darlene and David McQuoid, 3l9-397-2340

Wapello: David Cobler, 641-777-7202

Warren: Cheryl Eflink, 641-297-2239

Washington: Wilford Yoder, 319-338-6596

Wayne: Richard Stafford, 641-390-0723

Webster: Deann Haden, 515-576-5519

Winneshiek: Marlene Fenstermann, 563-382-3439

For more information about County Representatives, contact the County Representative Coordinator, Wayne Rimathe, 515-249-7466 or Email

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© 1997-2017 Iowa Barn Foundation. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without express written permission from the Iowa Barn Foundation.  Updated 03-23-17.


The Iowa Barn Foundation: Helping to preserve Iowa's agricultural heritage one barn at a time.


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