In 1994, after graduating from college at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, studying Dairy Science with a minor in Ag Business, Patrick went to Switzerland to work for six months on a dairy farm and cheese factory. Monika Zawada was studying horticulture at Agriculture Academy in Lublin Poland, was also under work study in the Italian part of Switzerland in the summer of ’94. Patrick worked in the German part.
They met in the French part of Switzerland with all the other trainees under the CAEP work exchange program with trainees from all over the World. Patrick was playing basketball with his shirt off and their eyes met for the first time.
It was love at first sight. Patrick then visited Poland for two weeks. Upon Patrick’s return to the US, he helped set up an ag exchange for Monika to his father’s dairy farm. Monika graduated with her horticulture degree in the Spring of 1995 and in the fall of 1995, she came to the US. 6 months later they were married.
Patrick jokes frequently that he “went to Switzerland looking for a Swiss wife (he’s 1/2 Swiss) but he came back with a Polish one.”