A Cowboy’s Faith: Fence posts are long-lived – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Fence posts are long-lived

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“There sure are a lot of good corner and even line posts strung along the highway ditch.”

With powerlines being moved for new highway construction, the line poles and cross arms have been left behind.

Brings to mind five decades and longer ago how valuable those seemed at the time for use in ranch fences. Hopefully, neighbors and others will see their worth and put them to use this year.

Previously when wind and ice storms knocked poles down with power company replacement, they were grabbed for the ranch.

However that won’t be the case now as philosophy has changed with only steel posts used for fence construction.

However, it is interesting looking around the ranch and seeing how many power poles are still serving their purpose.

Back in the beginning almost anything was used in fence construction. With the original little ranch near tracks, old railroad ties were common. They were put into corral, pasture and hog pen fences, but seemed to be short-lived needing replaced within a decade.

Mom’s Uncle John was a partner in the garbage hog feeding operation for a number of years. He worked for the rural electric company with ample access to free worn out power cross arms.

They were used for making short lived fence and corner posts as well as fencing for hog pens.

Accumulating the old power poles was a major ordeal driving the highways and dragging them into the horse trailer. A number of the poles were used in building a feed rack now turned into a corral.

When constructing that fence with Dad and Uncle Elmer, extreme caution was taken to make sure they were straight. Some weren’t with the philosophy “they’ll rot out and can be replaced.” Well, six decades later, those posts are still in use and impossible to tell if they’re straight and it doesn’t matter.

Of course, philosophy always has been that “nothing beats a hedge post” for a corner or even line fence. So, with way too many hedge trees intruding pastures, many have been cut and put into service. They don’t rot and will last a lifetime unless a prairie blaze destroys them. Modern day steel posts cost more but are more efficient lasting a lifetime.

Reminded of Genesis 26:9: “They were good after quite a long time.”

030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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