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Farm "Artist" Hires Himself Out
Most people who see Marlin Stump's art look down on it. It's not that they don't appreciate it. They just have to look down to see it.
  With a 15-ft. wide "paintbrush" and a canvas that's measured in acres, the only way to really see Stump's creations is to look down from high in the sky.
  For several years now, this Nashville, Ohio farmer has been creating "paintings" in wheat stubble fields with a John Deere rotary mower and a Case-IH tractor.
  Stump, who farms about 1,600 acres with his brother Monty and their father Clyde, got the bug to create in 1993. Since then, he's clipped 53 designs into wheat fields, sometimes doing as many as five a year. Most are created on the Stump farm, but he's done some for others for a fee of $300.
  To begin a piece of wheat stubble art, Stump draws a design or picture on paper. He then calculates the scale based on the width of his mower. After that, he transfers the design to the field by stepping it off (one big step equals one yard) and outlining it with surveyors' flags.
  After that, he mows the design in two passes. In the first pass, he sets the mower high and makes a rough cut. Then he sets it lower to the ground to sharpen the image.
  He says as long as he follows his flags with the mower, the image almost always turns out as he'd planned. "You do have to remember to shut off the mower at the right times," he adds.
  Included in the 53 works he's completed are Mickey Mouse, birth announcements when his children were born, a steer, his town name, a promotion for a county fair, and one that said "Welcome to Ohio."
  Weather and weeds usually limit the longevity of Stump's creative works to a month or so. He tries to get into fields shortly after harvest early in July. By mid to late August, however, green weeds in the field have usually obscured the design. Since his brother is a pilot, the two usually fly over his completed stubble art and record it on film.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Marlin Stump, 1805 Greenville-Nashville Road, Greenville, Ohio 45331 (ph 937 548-1804).


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2003 - Volume #27, Issue #1