Of all of the things that Brian Skinner expected to have in his barn on Hardscrabble Farms, a symphony never crossed his mind. In late August, however, the Skinners hosted Benefit in the Barn, A Symphony on the Farm, an event that was created by Delaware County Farm Bureau to raise money for The Mid-Ohio Food Bank.
“When we were first approached about this idea, we liked it because we thought it was unique and something that hasn’t been done very often, if at all,” said Brian Skinner. “We knew that it would be special to have it at our farm and we now have many memories and lots of pictures to remember the night for years to come.”
That night, Brian and his family shared much more than their farm at the event. Having neighbors, friends and complete strangers to the homestead also presented the opportunity to share their farming story.
“I answered several questions, mostly about the combine as visitors got an up-close look at it,” Skinner said. “They would ask about the width of the grain platform and they wanted to know how it works when we get into the field. It was a great joy for my family and I to be a part of something like this.”
The idea for Benefit in the Barn was first conceived at a Delaware County Farm Bureau meeting a few years ago and after much thought and planning, came to fruition.
“We have had quite a few successful events in the past that would draw in 50 to 100 people,” said Tim Barnes, President of The Delaware County Farm Bureau. “When we began putting this event together we began to realize that we could bring in a lot more people than that.”
A Benefit in the Barn sold out of tickets a few days before the event, gathering over 500 people to the farm, just east of Delaware. The patrons sat beneath the stars, surrounded by combines, tractors, grain bins and corn fields, listening to The Central Ohio Symphony’s talented musicians play from a tool shed on Hardscrabble Farms. After it was all said and done, the event raised $20,000, equivalent to 80,000 meals, for the Delaware County area partner agencies of The Mid-Ohio Food Bank.
“Seeing that many people from all walks of life attend this event was something really special,” Barnes said. “The Delaware County Ag community supported us extremely well, then to see so many Central Ohio Symphony supporters show up and get a different perspective of agriculture as well was very gratifying.”