Meet Lynsey Kramer, farmer and mother of four.
She hasn’t always been a farmer. Years ago, she and her husband lived in the suburbs of Houston. She was a photographer and he was a firefighter.
“Jason and I were in our mid 20s already battling many health issues along with our toddler daughter. I was a hormonal wreck and pre-diabetic and Jason was told he wasn’t going to be able to qualify for life insurance because his bloodwork was that of an 80 year old man. The common denominator that we came up with that was contributing to our health issues was food and lifestyle. We made very drastic changes and started researching food sources. At the time, there were not a lot of small farms like ours.” -Lynsey Kramer of Yonder Way Farm
Their hunt for locally sourced, quality meats proved fruitless. So the couple decided to take action, using family land to practice their farming skills. As their business grew, the Kramers were able to purchase their own land.
“When we found our farm, we knew instantly that it was exactly what we needed and where wanted to put our roots down. I was hoping for an old farmhouse to fix up, Jason wanted an old red barn (ours was built in the late 1800s!), and we wanted rolling pastures with lots of trees.” -Lynsey Kramer of Yonder Way Farm
“Farming has been learned through the process and through the ‘doing.’ I don’t think that farming is something that you can learn in a text book. You have to put your hands in the dirt, get animals, and just begin. We also believe that if you are watchful, your animals will teach what they need to care for them. What farming has taught us is that you can’t have a perfect plan for it. How we farm now and our infrastructure looks very different now than when we first began. If anything, go into farming with an adaptable and teachable spirit willing to change things around as you go.
If I could give myself advice in 2006, it would be to embrace the process. Don’t try and figure everything out from the beginning. View farming as one of the greatest teachers that you will ever have. This journey won’t be about becoming. It will be about un-becoming so I can be who I was meant to be and we were meant to be as a family.” -Lynsey Kramer
“My favorite aspect of farming is that it is something that we can do as a family- together. We are able to look at each one of our girls and their strengths and help them find roles that either compliment those strengths and sometimes challenge them. Being able to have a family farm business, has made our family stronger and create this sense of a ‘team.’
Jason and I cast a vision for our family.
- We needed to think through what our dreams were as a family and be intentional with the time that we have with our four daughters.
- We really wanted to foster a deep connection in our family- our girls with us as their parents and our girls as sisters who would hopefully grow to become dear friends.
- We wanted to spark curiosity and creativity in our girls.
- We wanted them to be well-rounded- able to look an adult in the face and engage in a conversation with them.
- I also wanted our girls to nurture and care for the smaller ones around them.
- We chose character over curriculum.
- We wanted our girls to dream big but actually be able to see dreams become a reality through hard work and effort. Our girls are constantly coming up with businesses and selling goods and finding out ways to make money to save up for things. I think they have our entrepreneurial spirit in them. We want them to know that we are their biggest investors- in a relational sense and in their future as adults. We wanted to start fostering this at a young age.” -Lynsey Kramer
“Exie Jo (9) is our fire cracker and spunky youngest daughter. She brings in so much sense of humor and goodness to our everyday life on the farm. She sees everything as an adventure and hops in and out of farm task throughout the day, happily.” -Lynsey Kramer
“Laney Rae (13) is a leader and farm girl through and through. She is at her happiest when she is outside working on the farm and was this way even as a toddler. She is very intuitive when it comes to the animals and their needs and is a nurturer. She has dreams of being a farmer when she grows up and has the work ethic to back it up.” -Lynsey Kramer
“Ruthie (10) is a sensitive and sweet spirit. She’s one of the most empathetic people I know truly in tune with meeting the needs of others. She is a helper wherever there is help needed on the farm- there are no limits for her. She will jump in wherever we need it and happily be a part of helping.” -Lynsey Kramer
“Kaylyn (16) is a creative teenager filled with the ability to dream and full of amazing ideas! She loves writing and expressing herself through words. She isn’t too fond of the chickens, but she loves being a part of the business side of our farm through helping customers and helping in our farm store. I know that her experiences here on the farm are going to set her up for success in whatever she embraces in her life.” -Lynsey Kramer
“We raise pastured-pork, pastured- chicken, pastured-eggs, and grass-fed beef. We also have a slew of farm dogs, barn cats, and ornery goats! I’d have to say that my favorite animal that we raise are hens that turn out to be broody- they want to sit on the eggs and hatch baby chicks. To me, a broody hen is the ultimate test of patience and long-suffering. They have to sit on an egg for 21 days straight only getting up just a few times a day for very brief moments. To me, a hen is such a beautiful picture of motherhood and how they interact with their chicks protecting and shielding them with their wings.” -Lynsey Kramer