A Cowboy’s Faith: Corn field for soccer – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Corn field for soccer

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Bolton Soccer Complex used to be a corn field.

One of Council Grove’s popular youth recreation facilities is located near a park, the aquatic center, and several baseball fields.

A project was needed for a vocational agriculture class freshman as part of his Future Farmers of America (FFA) membership.

The seven-acres alfalfa field owned by Phil Bolton at the edge of town was being overtaken by wild grasses. An adjacent two-acres horse and hog operation within the city limits was ongoing, so opportunity to learn more about farming developed.

Privileged to assist Mr. Bolton with cattle work previously, he agreed to rent the tract on a “share” basis. “Go to the bank and get a lease agreement we can both sign,” Mr. Bolton recommended.

With paperwork in hand, a wannabe cowboy-carryout grocery boy was going to be a “real farmer.” Yet, farming requires machinery, which was in short supply, although Dad did have some antiques called into use.

The 1939 John Deere B tractor was hooked to a two-bottom pull-type plow for tilling the field. An old wheelless pull disc whacked the clay gumbo clods into a seedbed roughly suitable for planting.

Somehow, someway, a manually operated two-row lister was found and attachments adjusted for operation. Two seed and fertilizer boxes were filled with ingredients purchased from Council Grove Elevator up the road.

Teenager farmer was told to “make sure the rows are straight,” but they didn’t turn out that way. Somebody said the rows were so crooked there wouldn’t be any raccoons stealing the seed because they’d break their necks.

There was a nice shower and the corn seed sprouted along with just as many weeds. Herbicides weren’t that prevalent to control field crop invaders in those days, so a two-row weed cultivator was acquired.

Old timers warned not to get into the seedling rows and destroy any new corn with the weed tiller. There were some plants demolished but enough remained, so it was still a corn field.

No “100 Bushel Challenge” trophy received, but there were enough ears of corn so landowner and tenant both broke even. Decades later, Mr. Bolton’s family donated the land for the soccer field.

Reminded of Ruth 2:2: “Now go to the field and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace.”


Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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