By Taylor Boyd
A family that moved from Wisconsin hopes to plant their roots in Patrick County.
Travis Mead and his family moved to the area last year, after he accepted the post of District Conservationist with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
His duties afford him close contact with area farmers, Mead said.
“I work to improve natural resource conservation on farms. I do fieldwork and farm visits to help plan things like alternative water sources for cattle to ensure they don’t contaminate natural water sources,” he said.
A native of Michigan, Mead met his wife, Chrysta, while attending college in Wisconsin. The move here was the latest in a number of career-related treks.
“To advance in my career, I knew I had to move out of the Dairy Belt since the positions I wanted there were all spoken for. We moved to several states, and each move was a little bit further from our families,” Mead said.
“It was like those smaller moves were preparing us for this bigger move,” said Chrysta Mead, who is a stay-at-home mom to their three children, Lydia, Oliver, and Vivien.
The two decided Patrick County “feels right” — similarly to when they met at a professional bull-riding event in Milwaukee.
“It was love at first sight. I saw her near me in the stands, and I knew she was the one,” Travis Mead said. They got married in September, 2013, and moved to Patrick in October, 2019.
“We feel like this is the right place for us to permanently settle down, build a family legacy, and raise our children,” Travis Mead said.
“The area is so beautiful, we love it. We really want to be part of this tight-knit community,” Chrysta Mead added.
To accomplish their quest, the family hopes to buy a 50- acre farm.
“We want to live as naturally as possible. We want to grow our own food, and work with our neighbors to sustain ourselves and our community,” Travis Mead said.
The Meads also want to raise livestock, and while they are unsure of the specific animals they intend to raise, “we definitely want chickens,” Travis Mead said.
He said he also wants to use their farm as a place to teach others.
“There are a couple of places here in the county that do demonstrations on how to make apple cider and other things. We want our farm to be open to the community, so we can teach them what we’re doing. We want it to be interactive,” Travis Mead said.
“I grew up on a dairy farm, and Chrysta grew up camping with her family and spending a lot of time outdoors,” Travis Mead said. “We love that having a farm would mean we get to raise our kids like how we were raised.”