Commitment to Dairy and Fitness Drive This Farmer’s Day
California dairy farmer Megan Silva developed her love of cows and the land at an early age, when she spent time with her father and grandfather on the family dairy. Today, she’s a fourth-generation dairy farmer. She also owns fitness and wellness studios. And she’s a mom of three young children.
She shares two of these roles with her husband, Johnny, who also grew up on a dairy farm. The Silvas have worked side-by-side for nearly a decade. Megan works on their herd’s genetics, and Johnny manages the cow’s nutrition and the farm’s employees.
“There are so many moving parts on a dairy, and it just so happened to work out that we each have passion for a different area,” Megan says of how the couple work out their roles.
Their distribution of labor is efficient enough for Megan to devote her energy to two other businesses: EscalonFIT, a 24-7 fitness center, and Wellness By EscalonFIT, a hair salon and spa. Both serve her small town of Escalon. The businesses also tap into her passions for fitness, wellness and serving her community.
When the local gym she and two friends frequented closed, they looked for an alternative and decided they could only get what they were looking for by making it themselves. Together, they opened a gym and gained a fourth business partner to make it all possible. Today it offers 90 classes each month—from yoga to Pilates and more. Then they saw the need for a spa, and in April 2019 opened one that has everything from a sauna to hair and makeup services.
Between running a gym, a spa, a dairy and a family, Megan made the time to chat with us and offer a glimpse of a dairy good life.
What’s the nerdiest dairy-related conversation you’ve had?
This is a tough one. I can’t think of anything specific off the top of my head, but I would say that most of the conversations I have about genetics and breeding programs can get pretty nerdy!
In one sentence, how would you describe life on a dairy farm?
Life on a dairy is amazing and ever-changing, each day brings a new challenge and with each challenge we choose to learn and grow.
What’s something people don’t know about your job?
I think that most people see farmers with a pitch fork in hand and a piece of straw hanging out of their mouths. What they don’t know or realize is that the farmer has changed and adapted just as much as the agriculture industry has. In fact, we largely rely on technology to help us run our dairies efficiently. We have computer programs that help us keep our cow records straight; feed programs that enable us to deliver a perfectly balanced ration to each cow; cow-cooling systems that come on automatically with temperature changes; water recycling systems; RFID tags that track movement and production; and so much more.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
There is not a single what or who. I love my parents and family for shaping me into the woman I have become, my husband for loving me through all of my crazy ideas and spontaneous business decisions, my children for making me understand what love really is, my old and new friends who consistently challenge, motivate and inspire me, and my careers in the dairy and fitness industries, where my job is my passion and work feels like fun.
When and where are you happiest?
I always do love a nice beach vacation with delicious food and a change of scenery for my workouts, but home is where my heart is always happiest.
What do you appreciate most in your friends?
Their support. No matter what happens in my life, good or bad, they are always there for me. You really can’t ask for much more than that!