Kraemer Farms is, first and foremost, a family farm. Its original roots can be traced back to Peter Kraemer, a German immigrant who traveled first to New York, then to Chicago, and finally to the Willamette Valley. Peter remarried after the death of his first wife, and his only child from his second marriage, Anthony, went on to become the progenitor of the entire Kraemer family. Two of his sons became nurserymen; one of them, Harold, became a farmer. Harold married Ann, and together they raised seven children. In 1964 Harold and Ann founded Kraemer Farms LLC together, and over the ensuing years the whole family joined the business to one extent or another. Each of Harold and Ann's seven children stayed close, and raised families of their own; it has long been common for the third generation to work together in the fields in their youth. Today, Peter's great-great-grandchildren and great-great-great grandchildren number in the dozens. In the century since Peter arrived in the Valley, the Kraemer family has stayed put, building families and businesses across the Valley.
Kraemer Farms built itself on a foundation of berries and row crops. Loganberries were the crop which helped to create the foundation for Kraemer Farms; later, it was Marions, Slyvans, Chesters, and latter still it was Black Diamonds and Obsidians. As with most things in agriculture, the harvest of caneberries has changed rapidly in the last few decades. Naturally, hand-picking was the norm throughout most of the history of the Farm. Eventually, however, Kraemer Farms began purchasing a fleet of Littau harvesters. By the late '90s and early '00s, handpicking was entirely eliminated in the realm of caneberries. Strawberries were also, at one time, a major part of Kraemer Farms' crop slate: for years, it was perfectly routine for hundreds of people to be picking over dozens and dozens of acres of strawberries. Today, however, Kraemer Farms no longer grows strawberries commercially.
Row crops were once the bread-and-butter of Kraemer Farms: broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini, cauliflower, onions, table beets, green beans, peas, wheat, grass seed, and more besides. However, in recent years the market for such crops have begun to decline. Today, zucchini, grass seed and wheat are the main crops which Kraemer Farms continues to cultivate in significant qualities. In addition to wine grapes, the other crop the acreage of which has continued to increase is hazelnuts. As it stands now, the primary crops of Kraemer Farms are wine grapes, hazelnuts and grass seed.
The current crown-jewel of Kraemer Farms' is the vineyard program which, in-keeping with the salt-of-the-earth nature of the entire operation, began with a handshake deal: Dan Kraemer agreed to prune and train a friend's vineyard in lieu of paying rent on ground where he was running some cattle. A few years later, Dan was offered the opportunity to by that vineyard; his acceptance of that offered marked a major transition point in the history of the farm, though he could not have known that at the time. Soon, Dan would go from those long days tending to someone else's vineyards to planting of Kraemer Farms' first vineyard. From there, the program would only grow in acreage, quality and expertise.
Each new generation of Kraemers has been raised with a knowledge of their family's long-standing presence in the Valley, and a sense of collective legacy which informs business and management decisions. Kraemer Farms places a premium on being a trustworthy partner to business associates, as the importance of preserving and advancing the quality of the Kraemer name is vital to Kraemer Farms' continued success. Unlike many family farms, Kraemer Farms struggles not at all for willing successors, ensuring that the values which have propelled the Kraemer family forward over the past century are now, and will always be, well-represented in the business practices of Kraemer Farms.
Today Kraemer Farms is focused upon consolidating its gains and ensuring that whatever we do, we do it well.
An important part of the Kraemer family legacy is a penchant for adaptability, an interest in innovation, and a comfort with change. Kraemer Farms already pioneered the use of mechanical harvesters in the grape harvest, and is currently experimenting with other means of making every part of vineyard management more efficient and streamlined, while simultaneously working tirelessly to push the quality of its product to ever greater heights.
Everyone at Kraemer Farms is excited to see what the future holds, and we are committed to maintaining the same level of industry, curiosity, passion and dedication to the interests and expectations of our customers that previous generations of Kraemers have held to for many decades. We have a legacy to uphold, and we aim to do so, no matter what.