Clevan Had No Plans For Radio Career

“To be honest, my plan in life after high school was never to be in radio; I hated talking in front of people, but here we are,” said new NAFB member Travis Cleven (WTAQ/DEZ, Green Bay, Wisconsin). Travis grew up in Morrison, Wisconsin, where there are 200 people. “In our town we have a church, an herb shop, a funeral home, a bar, a gas station, and an RV salesman. All of the essentials,” he said. “I was born and raised on my parents’ custom calf raising business, Quiet Crest Farm (pictured). The farm was started in 1995, a year after I was born. We grew from nothing to now raising more than 4,100 calves for dairy farms in our area. This is what I grew up with, and this was all I really knew. I also worked down the road at Reynders Dairy, LLC, milking cows. You could say agriculture has been in my blood from day one. Along with all the experiences from the farm, I was very involved in the Morrison 4-H Club throughout grade school and high school.” Travis also showed pigs and steers at the Brown County Fair, which was the best part about summer for him. “I miss showing at the fair so much. After graduating high school, I really had no idea what I wanted to do. So, of course, I jumped into the first job that would take me, which was being an electrician. Word to the wise, don't be an electrician if you are afraid of being shocked. That was me.” His foreman asked him one day, "Hey Travis, do you hate this job?"  He answered, "Is it that obvious?" He went on to tell Travis to quit because he was young and had a lot of time to figure things out. “He said that I shouldn't be stuck in a job that I wake up every morning hating. So, he set me up with an adviser at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. I talked with the adviser and told them how I loved to edit video, DJ, and things like that. I then decided to go to school for digital media, and two years later I graduated with my associate degree in the field.” During his last semester, Travis needed an internship. “I just emailed a radio station and asked if they did internships; and then I got the internship within a week or so. I was so excited to start working there, even if it was unpaid. My first day, they told me that I was going to be on-air and just to talk loud and not swear. I had no experience on-air, and it was terrible!” Fast-forward and Travis ended up being a full-time morning show co-host for 95.9 KISS FM, WKSZ (a Top 40 Station) for about three years. In that time period, he also did the night show for six months; and after that, he became a co-host/producer for the morning show. After the morning show ran its course, he had to find something else to do and got the opportunity to go back to school online through the University of Wisconsin Green Bay and work at Y100 WNCY (a Country Station) part-time. “This is when I was led to the agriculture side of radio. I had never been a reporter before, so I was nervous about it. But at the same time, even when doing the morning show, I had to come up with stories and topics to talk about. The opportunity came up to be the agricultural director for Midwest Communications because Mike Austin was retiring from radio. I jumped at the opportunity to learn from someone like Mike because he is one of the best in the business, and he knew his stuff! This was perfect for me because it's radio, which I love, and it's also agriculture. Now, I do the ag reports covering six different stations; WTAQ, WNCY, WGEE, WSAU, WHBL, and WDEZ. I can't ask for anything better. I am very lucky and excited to learn more and meet more people in the business.”