2018 Pioneer Farmer of the Year


2018 Pioneer Farmer of the Year, James Earl Weaver

James Earl Weaver has been a life-long Chambers County farmer and rancher since 1947. He and his wife, Belle, live in Winnie, Texas. James’ family goes back as far as 1831 when Andrew Weaver and his wife, Julia, settled in the area north of Hankamer, Texas. The family’s history of farming and ranching began here in the central part of Chambers County. James has two sons, Jimmy and Gary, who both farmed and ranched with him for a few years in the early 1970s.

James loved being a farmer and rancher from the beginning. He always said, “You don’t get anything out of life and its bounty if you don’t put forth the effort.” He also had a tremendous love for his favorite hobby of being an airplane pilot. He would wake up early in the morning and go crank up his plane to fly over and check his rice fields and cattle before the work hands made it to work. He would even take them for a ride to see the fields if they were willing to go along.

James Earl put in his first rice crop in 1947. This crop consisted of 16 acres and over the years, his farming and ranching operation grew to around 500 acres. While tending to the rice fields, he also grew soybeans and had a cattle business.

James was awarded the honor of Young Farmer of the Year in 1964 by the Farm Bureau Association. His practices of land leveling, erosion control and pasture management were recognized with this award.

James is a strong advocate for the best management practices involved in his farming and ranching activities. He served on the Trinity Bay Soil and Water Conservation District as a board member for 43 years. His contributions to this organization and its practices were well accepted by all his constituents, both locally and across the state of Texas. James was a member of the Board of Directors for Security State Bank of Anahuac for 36 years. He was also a director for the Farm and Home Association (FHA) in Liberty, Texas.

James was an advocate for the youth of Hankamer and surrounding areas where he set aside time for the Boy Scouts of America. He was a scout master for several years and can tell you many stories about his experiences wit the young boys growing up and experiencing the values of being a boy scout.

James and his wife, Belle, still reside in Winnie, Texas. You can occasionally see them sitting outside enjoying the breeze and talking about old times. They enjoy going to church and spending time with their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. James retired from rice farming in 1994, but he still maintains a small herd of cattle. He had 47 wonderful years in an occupation he would not have changed for the world and he still can’t wait to see what is happening on the farm every morning.

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