Update on MOFGA Barn Fire and How You Can Help

February 15, 2023

On January 14, one of the livestock barns on MOFGA’s campus in Unity caught fire and was fully engulfed by the time the responding fire departments made it to the scene. Thankfully no one was injured, and there were no animals in the barn at the time as it was being used to house our tractors and equipment over the winter. We remain truly grateful for the speedy response from surrounding fire departments.

Unfortunately, the barn and everything inside of it were a total loss. Some of the equipment was burned beyond recognition, and staff have been working to piece together the full list of everything that was lost. The fire inspector suspects that the fire started in the electric breaker box in the barn, and likely caused a spark that may have ignited some nearby animal bedding.

We’ve been working with our insurance company, and the good news is that they are going to cover the structure up to the limit of our policy, which was $90,000. We’re still working with them to figure out the equipment coverage, but anticipate that we will have expenses far beyond what we’ll receive from the insurance company.

We lost three tractors, including our Kubota and the Ford electric tractor, and we’ve lost nearly all of the carts and wheelbarrows used for the Common Ground Country Fair. We also lost countless hand tools and other small equipment that was being stored in the barn. If you’d like to help replace the needed equipment, you can chip in here.

We’re going to rebuild as soon as we can to ensure the barn is ready to go before this year’s Fair. We’re busy cutting the needed wood out of the MOFGA woodlot and have had many people ask about volunteering to help rebuild. If you’re interested in volunteering to help rebuild the barn, please sign up here.

The support and love from our community is inspiring and is always a good reminder of how critical you — our members, supporters and volunteers — are to MOFGA’s success. We will get through this together, and hopefully come out even stronger on the other side.

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