National Geographic : 1954 Sep
Plowing matches have largely succeeded Iowa's once-famed cornhusking contests. At Cherokee, and later at the State Level Land Plowing Match near Boone, we stood with thousands of spectators to watch chugging tractors turn furrows straight as a ruler across green fields. Many a canny farmer makes up his mind which tractor or plow to buy only after watching a plowing match (page 322). Plowing is science and art combined-and s serious business in Iowa. Cherokee's 16-time champion, Lyle Mason, won the State match in 1953 and lost the national plowing con test in Wisconsin by only a fraction of one point. In a long, low cattle barn on Cherokee's C Barker Promises Thrills and Chills as Cyclists Warm Up to Ride the Wall "Motorcycle maniacs," the ballyhoo man calls these midway performers at the Florida State Fair in Tampa. Standing on bike, a stunt man guns his motor with a booted toe. Wheels spin on rollers. + Arms folded, Betty O'Day of the Royal American Shows whips at a mile a minute around motordrome's wall. Centrifugal force exerts on the rider three times the pull of gravity, sometimes blacking her out momentarily as blood is forced from her head. National Geographic Photographers J. Baylor Roberts and John E. Fletcher 299 full and heavy. Iowa is mile after mile of corn, 11,000,000 acres, a billion dollars' worth in a good year. Just beyond Cherokee in northwest Iowa we came upon the huge hilltop boulder that once guided Indians and pioneers across the limitless wind-swept prairie. Near here the Pilot Rock Plowing Match has been held for 47 years. It's also Cherokee County's annual 4-H fair.