Junior Barn Detective (JBD) Program

The JBD Program is an outreach activity within FOB. This new concept was first presented to the membership at the 2008 conference. At the time it was felt that the FOB message was not being aggressively enough implemented throughout the entire State. A complete outline was developed and participant activity began in November of 2009 when 14 FOB participants attended a pilot workshop held at the Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center near Alliance, Ohio.

It is felt that the program, which relies completely upon local FOB member participation, has the potential for fairly quickly helping to save a significant number of old Ohio barns by:

  1. Spreading the undertaking all over the State.
  2. Actively involving many more FOB members.
  3. Increasing the likelihood of volunteer participation since the opportunity is right there in their own familiar County.
  4. Allowing the volunteer to do the task at their own pace, where ever and when ever their available time, schedule and energy level dictate.

The primary objective is to have in place a state wide cadre of trained volunteers who are willing to talk to and visit with those local barn owners/stewards who have indicated a desire to have someone look at their barn and help them analyze its general condition. In addition, these individuals would also be available to explain to youth and adult audiences, the historic value of old barns, basic barn construction, maintenance techniques, and availability of various local, state and national resources. In essence, it is an extension of the basic FOB educational mission.

The ultimate objective is to have at least one active JBD person or couple in each and every County in Ohio. No small task as the vast majority of the FOB members now reside somewhere close to the I-71 and I-70 corridors of the State. Many outlying Counties presently have no FOB members at all.

It is the intent of the FOB leadership that adequate training, tools, and resource support be provided to these dedicated volunteers at minimal expense to themselves. The parent organization will be looking at various methods of obtaining additional funding for this specific program. Since the first introductory JBD Training Workshop was held last Fall in the NE quadrant of the State, the next one will most likely take place in the Central, W, or SW environs.

It’s been said that “A friend in need is a friend indeed”. Having a barn friend within a given relatively small geographical area has many obvious benefits to both the barn owner/steward, the JBD’r and the FOB organization. Especially so to the JBD folks who don’t have to travel long distances, can do the visiting at their own convenience, get to be recognized in the community as a good reliable barn resource person(s), and don’t have to spend a lot of money in the process. Truly a rewarding and practical way to become a good friend to both barn and owner alike.