LUBBOCK, Texas — A tragic farming accident last month brought a community together for one last harvest in Wilson. 62-year-old cotton farmer James Nolte passed away November 1 after a farming accident. A month later, neighboring farmers honored his memory by volunteering to harvest Nolte’s crop.
Dozens of tractors spread across acres of land to complete James Nolte’s last cotton harvest. Nolte’s sister, Terry Thomas, said she felt overwhelmed by the community’s support.
“He’s got many friends, and all these wonderful people are here to help bring in his cotton,” Thomas said.
Born and raised in West Texas, Nolte was a beloved member of the community. Fellow farmer and a friend to Nolte Joe Patellas said Nolte was always going out of his way to help others.
“[Nolte] was friendly, and he needed help. He was there to help,” Patellas said.
Dozens of Farmers collected Nolte’s cotton to show his family just how much he meant to them. Farmers from all over the area dropped everything to work side by side to harvest Nolte’s cotton before the end of the season.
Nolte’s dear friend and fellow farmer Craig Wilke said was here to honor his friend the way farmers do through lending a helping hand.
“He was a good man. He’s gonna be definitely missed…” Wilke said. “I actually finished yesterday, but if I had a cotton field, I still would have come over. I would have dropped it to come over pull this.”
Nolte’s cousin Rachyl Kitten said it reflects who her cousin was and the community he was a part of.
“It just goes to show how close-knit the agricultural community is,” Kitten said. “These other farmers show up, and they may still have cotton out in the field, but they take time out of their day and use their equipment to show how important James was and how big of a person he was.”