Fact Check

Cornfield of Dreams

Did a farmer carve a USA-shaped maze in his cornfield?

Published Oct. 7, 2002


Claim:   Photograph shows a USA-shaped maze carved in a cornfield by a farmer.

Status:   True.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2002]

Here's an aerial picture of a cornfield in Lawrenceburg, TN. The owner
allegedly drew the picture out on his computer, then downloaded it to his
GPS system, and then followed the GPS on his Bushhog (a big-league mowing

Click photo to enlarge

Origins:   As the economics of family farming in America have become increasingly difficult, many farmers have turned to alternative uses of their land to supplement their incomes. One method of raising much-needed revenue has been the implementation of various agritourism schemes, such as leasing land for hunting and fishing, giving tours, or charging tourists to spend a day (and night) on the farm. Another popular agritourism scheme (one which Barbara and I have experienced personally, at the cost of many aching muscles) is the conversion of corn fields into large, elaborate mazes, which hapless tourists fork over dollars for the privilege of wandering through for hours on end (also known as "solving" the maze).

When Jon Rose of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, decided to bring in some money by creating a maize maze on his farm for the second straight year in 2002, he went whole hog. Inspired by a picture in a magazine, Rose planned a giant labyrinth based on a map of the United States of America (including Alaska and Hawaii), bordered above and below by the phrase "God Bless America," encompassing an endurance-straining 7.6 miles of aisles.

Creating this monstrous maze would ordinarily have required the work of ten men hacking away at corn stalks for a full three weeks, a labor-intensive process Rose wanted to avoid. Instead, he came up with an ingenious solution: He had a special program created for his GPS device, entered his design into it, and, using a map displayed on his GPS screen as a guide, sculpted the maze on a riding mower with just one day's effort. The results are shown in the photograph above.

Jon Rose also created a whopping 34.8-acre American flag maze.

Last updated:   29 May 2005

  Sources Sources:

    [Northwest Alabama] TimesDaily.   "A-Maizing: Giant Map of U.S., Flag Carved Into Cornfield."

    27 August 2002.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.