As I drive through the Indiana countryside, I am concerned that our old barns are disappearing so quickly that very few will be left in 15-20 years. These barns are an important and beautiful part of our rural Indiana heritage.
Janet Ayres is professor emerita from Purdue University. She spent her career as a rural development specialist in the Department of Agricultural Economics working with Extension educators across the state.
Tim Sheets grew up on a farm in Northern Indiana and had fond memories of playing in the old barn on his parent's farm at an early age. Many hay forts and elaborate tunnel systems were constructed in that barn.
Carolyn (Meyer) Rahe was raised in Northern Indiana, and some of her first memories are of traveling to farms with her father, a veterinarian. It was in these milk houses, horse stalls and hay mows that she came to know and love old barns.
Gwen Gutwein has been a successful artist since graduating from Indiana University in the early 80's. She has exhibited her paintings in galleries and museums in Indiana and throughout the United States.
Donya Lester is a native of northwest Georgia. She was active in 4-H, focusing on livestock projects and livestock judging competition. She financed her college education by selling feeder pigs, and her pigs paid for a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in animal breeding and genetics from Virginia Tech University.
I currently reside in Haubstadt, IN, which is located in Southwest Indiana. I am a proud 10 year 4-H member. I was also District President of Rural Youth and served on the State Board. I worked in the Purdue Extension office for 9 years.
Danielle Bachant-Bell is one of the Indiana Barn Foundation’s Monroe County Reps, is the statewide coordinator of the foundation’s County Rep Program, and has served on the IBF board since 2018.
Jill is currently employed by RESCOM Environmental Corporation: she is a Project Manager in their Cultural Resources Department. Jill has a Masters of Science in Historic Preservation from Ball State University. Her area of expertise covers historic properties including architecture. She joined the IBF board in 2019.
Laura is an Administrator and Office Manager for ARCH (archfw.org), an organization focused on architectural preservation. She has experience working with newspapers and library projects. Laura has a Bachelor of Science in American History. Her resume is extensive. Laura joined our board in 2019.
Cory is a Public Affairs Manager for the Indiana Soybean Alliance. He has spent a number of years working in areas related to agriculture.
Dean has 20 years experience in print, broadcast, Internet medial reporting and newsgathering. He holds a Bachelor of Art in Communications from Huntington University.
D. Michael Thompson
Mike is an Associate Director of Development at Indiana University-Kelley School of Business. His involvement in the corporate world adds to his experience. He enjoys working with private foundations and his volunteer experience is impressive. Mike has a Master’s in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Mike joined our board in 2019.