Family Farm in Aiken, South Carolina
Acre by acre, the Cushmans made their farm uniquely their own with hardwork and patience.
Family Farm in Aiken, South Carolina
Spend 30 seconds with Travis and Kelly Cushman and you will feel the contagious joy the family has in living their dream.
As we stood in front of their house, we looked out and saw rolling pastures, grazing cows, and an old barn that sits beneath pecan trees. Their girls, Abagail and Clara, laughed as they ran across the porch towards the yard where they began to pull their dolls in a wagon.
It took years of patience and hard work to piece together the 120 acres in Aiken, South Carolina where they live and raise beef cattle today. With a third child on the way, they are raising both their children and livestock on hard work and open spaces. Despite the long days and southern heat, they still consider the farm their “vacation spot” - attesting to the gratitude and positivity that flows from this family.
Small Land, Big Dreams
Both Travis and Kelly grew up on small pieces of land, but small pieces of land bared big dreams and they each pictured a farm of their own one day.
Growing up, Travis always enjoyed being outside. He spent time exploring the woods and liked being around his family’s horses and cows. Kelly grew up with horses, too, but spending time exploring the land was what really made her realize that her dream was to “have a big farm one day.”
Long before they met, Travis and Kelly each made a promise to themselves to work hard so they could make their dream come true. Not once did either of them expect to have their dream handed to them. They each worked full-time jobs to save as much as they could. Travis even worked a side job painting fences.
It wasn’t until after the couple started dating that they found the perfect spot. “I didn’t see one street light, and I liked it,” Travis said when describing the charm of his future property. Despite the glaring amount of work that needed to be done, the couple saw it’s potential. They purchased their first tract of 64 acres in 2010. Kelly jokes and calls it an “addiction” because they haven’t stopped buying tracts since.
Travis and Kelly were driving to church the Christmas Morning after purchasing their land. For some reason, Travis decided he needed to “check on his food plots” at the new property. Refusing to get out of the truck because of the cold, Kelly stayed put. Improvising, Travis asked her to close her eyes. He then reached into the glovebox, pulled out a ring, and asked her to be his wife.
Smiling, Kelly told us, “This is where our story began”.
Land and Animals, Animals and Land
Since the initial purchase, the couple has added several adjacent land tracts to build up their small farm. They have spent countless evenings and weekends putting up fences, planting pastures, and taking care of their horses and small cattle herd. They even built a barn, and then finally, their dream home on what is now their 120 acre farm.
Unlike most, this couple is definitely not afraid to try something new or ask for advice. They knew from the beginning they would need guidance on their journey and valued the opinions of friends, neighbors, and others in the cattle industry. With their advice, the Cushman’s have built a farm uniquely their own. Their operation started with a registered Angus bull and commercial Hereford heifers, and they now have a herd of commercial Black Baldies. In 2017, they started their herd of registered Herefords.
“It’s a new avenue to go down and new adventure,” Kelly said, “and we’re hoping to build a name with what we’re doing.”
No stranger to big dreams, the couple plans to expand their operation to where Kelly can work full-time from their farm.
Morning Coffee and Advice
One of the couple’s favorite things to do is sit on their front porch in the morning and drink coffee. They can’t help but look out over the small farm they have built and see not only the hard work of the past, but the days of future. They can’t wait to watch their children grow up, work with animals, and play outside just like they used to do. Their hope is to foster big dreams in them through hard work and country living.
When asked what advice they’d give to someone trying to make a dream happen, they said, “Take your time and really work for what you want. Don’t expect it to be given to you. And don’t expect things to happen overnight.”
They affectionately describe their land, farm and family as a “work in progress.” But they are content and grateful for what they have. They really try to make the most of each day. As they continue to dream and take small steps toward building the future, that front porch view is a reminder of where they’ve been and that the best is yet to come.
If you’re wanting to make your family farm dream come true, visit our land and farm pages or contact us today.