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We have a pole barn. The poles are placed in post holes and then the plate is attached to the top before the poles are tamped in. I believe a post frame building would not have the poles set in the ground and they would be square cut instead of round. I could be wrong, I was once.
Post frame bldgs do have the posts in the ground. Yes they are square or rectangular in shape. You may be thinking of post and beam construction. There the posts are usually not in the ground.
Go to the NFBA web site to learn more about this modern, effective, and economical system of construction.