Texas Agriculture January 20, 2017 : Page 10

Community comes together Farmers help bring in cotton crop By Shala Watson Multimedia Writer Farmers are among a unique, tightly woven community that know how to lend a hand and a cotton stripper. ease about 15 years ago. The debili-tating disease affects the digestive system. Klattenhoff had his third surgery, which left him unable to operate farm equipment, when he needed to be harvesting cotton. “The farmers in the area decided they’d get together and help him,” Wilde said. “He’s not able to run his tractor like he should be able to. So the farmers in this area vol-unteered to help him harvest his had already delayed the region’s harvest this year. “We had frost the late part of November that killed the plants, so normally you’d get in there around Dec. 15 and harvest whatever is ready at that time. So it’s just been sitting there since then,” Wilde said. Even though many of the farm-ers still had cotton left in their fields, they wanted to help. “This is just an effort on my part to help Collin,” Wilde said. “He has been a great friend for years. I would help anyone in the commu-nity in his situation. He won’t ask for help himself. So we just have to come out here and do it for him.” A meal was also provided to all the volunteers. Tom Green County Farm Bureau cooked the hamburg-ers and Runnels County Farm Bu-reau provided the drinks. Collin’s mother, Lois Ann Crownover, was overwhelmed by J ANUARY 20 , 2017 10 Local residents in the rural com-munity near Miles did just that, bringing in food and harvest equip-ment to help one of their own. Be-cause Collin Klattenhoff still had more than 500 acres of cotton left standing when he underwent sur-gery. Klattenhoff, a former Runnels County Farm Bureau president, was diagnosed with Crohn’s dis-When Runnels County farmer Daniel Wilde heard Klattenhoff had surgery, he went to work find-ing local farmers to help strip the cotton left standing in the field. Within a week, Wilde, the Miles Co-op Gin and two county Farm Bu-reaus—Runnels and Tom Green— had coordinated a community ef-fort of more than 50 volunteers to help bring in Klattenhoff ’s cotton. cotton crop.” On a cold, windy day in early January, they gathered at Klat-tenhoff ’s farm and an orchestra of farm equipment arrived on his field. In all, there were around 10 machines harvesting, five or six module builders and four or five boll buggies to harvest around 575 acres. Wilde said late summer rains the outpouring of love from the community and expressed her sin-cere appreciation. “I cried this morning,” Crownover said. “Some of these guys may have their own cotton in the field, and they’re not necessarily through with their stuff. But just to know there’s so many people that care about my son….It’s overwhelming.” Crownover said the Miles com-

Community Comes Together

Shala Watson

Farmers help bring in cotton crop

Farmers are among a unique, tightly woven community that know how to lend a hand and a cotton stripper.

Local residents in the rural community near Miles did just that, bringing in food and harvest equipment to help one of their own. Because Collin Klattenhoff still had more than 500 acres of cotton left standing when he underwent surgery.

Klattenhoff, a former Runnels County Farm Bureau president, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease about 15 years ago. The debilitating disease affects the digestive system. Klattenhoff had his third surgery, which left him unable to operate farm equipment, when he needed to be harvesting cotton.

When Runnels County farmer Daniel Wilde heard Klattenhoff had surgery, he went to work finding local farmers to help strip the cotton left standing in the field.

Within a week, Wilde, the Miles Co-op Gin and two county Farm Bureaus—Runnels and Tom Green—had coordinated a community effort of more than 50 volunteers to help bring in Klattenhoff’s cotton.

“The farmers in the area decided they’d get together and help him,” Wilde said. “He’s not able to run his tractor like he should be able to. So the farmers in this area volunteered to help him harvest his cotton crop.”

On a cold, windy day in early January, they gathered at Klattenhoff’s farm and an orchestra of farm equipment arrived on his field. In all, there were around 10 machines harvesting, five or six module builders and four or five boll buggies to harvest around 575 acres.

Wilde said late summer rains had already delayed the region’s harvest this year.

“We had frost the late part of November that killed the plants, so normally you’d get in there around Dec. 15 and harvest whatever is ready at that time. So it’s just been sitting there since then,” Wilde said.

Even though many of the farmers still had cotton left in their fields, they wanted to help.

“This is just an effort on my part to help Collin,” Wilde said. “He has been a great friend for years. I would help anyone in the community in his situation. He won’t ask for help himself. So we just have to come out here and do it for him.”

A meal was also provided to all the volunteers. Tom Green County Farm Bureau cooked the hamburgers and Runnels County Farm Bureau provided the drinks.

Collin’s mother, Lois Ann Crownover, was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from the community and expressed her sincere appreciation.

“I cried this morning,” Crownover said. “Some of these guys may have their own cotton in the field, and they’re not necessarily through with their stuff. But just to know there’s so many people that care about my son….It’s overwhelming.”

Crownover said the Miles community has a long history of helping others in need.

“Everybody kicks in and does what they can to help the family,” Crownover said. “You don’t find that really in big cities. I’m sure friends and neighbors kick in, but a place like this to draw half the farming community out. Even if it wasn’t Collin, they would still be doing it. That’s what’s so wonderful about it.”

Crownover said on the way back from the doctor for a checkup, someone called Klattenhoff and asked where they could put their equipment. He spoke with Dawn Kalina at the Miles Co-op Gin, and she told him about several farmers who wanted to come out and strip his cotton.

“Some guys said they saw it on Facebook and so they called Dawn and they wanted to be involved and they wanted to come help,” Crownover said.

Klattenhoff was humbled and left speechless at the support his community and fellow farmers showed him.

“I don’t know that I really have the words. It really means so much,” Klattenhoff said. “It’s overwhelming to know they’re out there to help me. It’s a great feeling to have these people out here helping.”

When he recovers, Klattenhoff plans to be the one helping others.

“When I’m well, I’ll be out there in the field the next time somebody needs some help,” Klattenhoff said. “This community sticks together. It’s something that they’ve always done. It’s not just the farmers. It’s the merchants in town. Everybody comes together and helps out.”

Klattenhoff’s doctor said everything looked healthy and if he stays on medicine and takes care of himself, he may never see him again, according to Crownover.

And the fifth generation farmer, who grows cotton, wheat, hay and cattle, is anxious to get back in the field.

“Farming is in my blood. It’s something I enjoy doing, and I can’t wait to get back to,” Klattenhoff said.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/Community+Comes+Together/2692379/378248/article.html.

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