According to the findings of a 2007 U.S. Department of Agriculture census, Missouri had more than 36,000 barns built before 1960 — the second-highest number in the nation behind Texas. The surprising number and the dilapidated condition of many of those barns led to the creation of the MBARN. In 2011, the group set out to photograph the barns as part of the first step in validating their historical significance.
But Missouri's barn enthusiasts might take heart in who is buying farmland in the state. The Associated Press noted that "absentee owners" are the ones "cashing in on [the] agricultural boom." They're being replaced by farmers, who are working the land. And some of them might just see the value in saving a piece of farming history.