Texas Neighbors Summer 2015 : Page 16

TEXAS NEIGHBORS | SUMMER 2015 By Julie Tomascik Associate Editor Triumph and tragedy meet on the wind-blown fields of the Texas Panhandle. And it’s there that the Crownover family legacy begins. A tradition of farming, true grit and a love for the land has kept the family rooted in Sunray, despite losing two of their family part -ners—Johnny and Adam—over the last decade. When fatal accidents claimed the lives of both father and son just three years apart, family members were left to grapple with farming and grief. But Lone Star Family Farms per -severed and family partners Justin and wife Stephanie and widows Stephanie (left), Justin, K, Rebecca (right) and the late Adam Crownover founded Lone Star Family Farms in 2009. K and Rebecca continue to move forward with farming and new ad -ventures. Like a diverse crop mix, innovative irrigation techniques and children’s books. It’s all part of the blossoming family farm. “We had to do a lot of readjusting,” Rebecca said. “Luckily, through our communication with our family and staying strong and knowing we wanted to continue to move for -ward, we were able to make some good decisions on how we could keep things together as a family and as a business and continue to grow.” Grief was a part of that process. But it was tough for Acie, Rebecca and Adam’s two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, who struggled to understand her dad wasn’t coming home. That’s when Rebecca began searching for children’s books to help explain the loss of a parent. But it was futile. Until one night, while reading to Acie, when Rebecca decided she’d write the book herself. My Daddy is in Heaven with Je-sus was the result. “I had a story in my head of things that we went through dur -ing that process of los -ing her father and some of the things that we went through to heal,” Rebecca said. It’s a story for an award-winning book, and one that’s helped many children find comfort. But Rebecca didn’t stop there. Her passion for ag -riculture and children led to the creation of the Texas Farm Girl —a series of books, a cloth -ing line and agricultural Rebecca teaches her daughter, Acie, about the root system in wheat. WWW.TEXASFARMBUREAU.ORG

Agriculture Inspires Children's Books

Julie Tomascik

Triumph and tragedy meet on the wind-blown fields of the Texas Panhandle. And it’s there that the Crownover family legacy begins.

A tradition of farming, true grit and a love for the land has kept the family rooted in Sunray, despite losing two of their family partners— Johnny and Adam—over the last decade.

When fatal accidents claimed the lives of both father and son just three years apart, family members were left to grapple with farming and grief.

But Lone Star Family Farms persevered and family partners Justin and wife Stephanie and widows K and Rebecca continue to move forward with farming and new adventures. Like a diverse crop mix, innovative irrigation techniques and children’s books. It’s all part of the blossoming family farm.

“We had to do a lot of readjusting,” Rebecca said. “Luckily, through our communication with our family and staying strong and knowing we wanted to continue to move forward, we were able to make some good decisions on how we could keep things together as a family and as a business and continue to grow.”

Grief was a part of that process. But it was tough for Acie, Rebecca and Adam’s two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, who struggled to understand her dad wasn’t coming home.

That’s when Rebecca began searching for children’s books to help explain the loss of a parent. But it was futile.

Until one night, while reading to Acie, when Rebecca decided she’d write the book herself.

"My Daddy is in Heaven with Jesus" was the result.

“I had a story in my head of things that we went through during that process of losing her father and some of the things that we went through to heal,” Rebecca said.

It’s a story for an award-winning book, and one that’s helped many children find comfort.

But Rebecca didn’t stop there.

Her passion for agriculture and children led to the creation of the Texas Farm Girl—a series of books, a clothing line and agricultural advocacy. Because the farm girl from Sunray wanted to use her agricultural roots to connect with children everywhere.

“Those books—and I’ll continue to do more—those books are meant to entertain, educate and inspire children through farming,” Rebecca said. “It’s such a great way to really engage kids into farming and to really teach other kids who don’t know much that don’t grow up around it.”

Texas Farm Girl, released in November 2013, and "Texas Farm Girl: Reap What You Sow," released in January 2015, show what it’s like to farm in the Texas Panhandle.

Unpredictable and tough. But also rewarding.

“Agriculture is a vital part of the Sunray community, and it’s one we are proud to be a part of,” Rebecca said.

Her books also share life lessons. That triumph can come from tragedy. Always learn from mistakes and remain optimistic.

Children’s entertainment and education—it’s Rebecca’s business in addition to the farm, which is where the story first began.

Out on the dusty Panhandle, the Crownovers make a living with grit and Texas-sized hearts.

Because farming is a calling, a heritage and a way of life. It lives on in Adam’s legacy and Lone Star Family Farms. It’s a story Rebecca shares through the Texas Farm Girl series and one that will grow with Acie.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/Agriculture+Inspires+Children%27s+Books/2042783/263762/article.html.

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