Crop scouts mix work and play

August 19, 2008

All work and no play makes crop scouts very dull.  

To break up the routine of tramping through fields, counting soybean pods and calculating corn yields, crop scouts try to soak up some of the sights, sounds and smells of the attractions around the nation’s Corn Belt. After all, there’s nothing like a summer road trip.

Scouts on one of the routes on the western leg of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour took a detour early Monday morning to check out the world famous Corn Palace, an events center in Mitchell, South Dakota. The exterior of the Corn Palace features murals made from corn, a tradition started by 19th century settlers to prove the fertility of the South Dakota soil.  This year’s theme, “Everyday Heroes” was illustrated by pictures of people such as firefighters and teachers displayed on the front of the building.

But the sides of the Palace are bare. This year’s tribute to everyday heroes already has been taken down. The outlines of next year’s murals are waiting for the upcoming corn harvest to fill in the blanks of what appears to be scenes of the National Mall in Washington D.C., the St. Louis Arch, and the Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  

Scouts also got a history lesson on the town of Grand View, South Dakota. The town, which won the vote for county seat of Douglas County in 1882, no longer exists. Artifacts from the town site were excavated in 1961, according to a roadside marker surrounded by grain fields. There was no mention about what happened to the towns that lost the 1882 election for county seat.

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