Nebraska history books talk about it, barn aficionados know about it, and for something like 75 years, the 18-sided barn that stood along the Niobrara River sat on land that my in-laws now operate near Butte, Neb.
It was originally built by a local who had a contract to supply horses to the army. With 24 stalls and a 60-foot-high hayloft, it fit that bill.
Long before I became a Reiman, a bad windstorm (possibly a tornado?) took down what was left of the structure that had been in disrepair for years. You see, the generation before my father-in-law saw it as an old relic, a rather dysfunctional structure too far from the main farming operations.
Such is the way of many barns across America, really. I can appreciate the old structures, but that’s probably because I never had to put hay into them. As a young kid, I’d watch the high school boys my dad hired throw bales as the John Deere elevator brought them to the second story of our own barn. We switched to round bales shortly after. I get why many have replaced these worn buildings with new metal calving sheds and better feed storage options, but I love the nostalgia of them just the same.
Turns out, I’m not the only one.
When our Certified Angus Beef® (CAB®) team started talking about ways to celebrate our upcoming 40th Anniversary in a big way, somebody brought up the idea of a barn painting tour, similar to the Mail Pouch Tobacco advertising and others of yesteryear.
We got to know Ohio native Scott Hagan, who claims the title “The Barn Artist,” and a plan was hatched.
This is where you come in.
Since our very beginning back in 1978, we’ve relied on farmers and ranchers who have focused their high-quality Angus genetics to supply the CAB brand with greater and greater success. Over those decades, the logo, product and breed have been making a mark on the beef industry. A big mark.
Now we want to leave our mark on 40 communities across the country. We’re taking nominations for barns that will be painted throughout 2018, and we plan to touch each community we visit by giving back in a unique way.
So how does your barn or your neighbors’ get on the list? We’ve got a simple application process that asks a few questions and requires photo submissions.
If you’ve got one in mind, hurry! Nominations close Dec. 1.
Then the selection committee will review all options, giving priority to those in high traffic areas, close to well-traveled roads and to wooden structures with ideal surfaces.
If your barn is chosen, we’ll look forward to getting to know you better.
I, for one, can’t wait to see what gems we uncover.
May your bottom line be filled with black ink,
P.S. The lead photo of my husband pulling a bunch of Reimans on sleds a few years back shows their current barn in the background. It’s used to warm up a new pair during the coldest of winter nights or to house the occasional orphan calf. It’s most permanent residents are the barn cats that call it home.