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Margo Souza joined her family’s dairy farm business in 1984 when the herd of milking cows numbered 600 head. The count grew to over 1,000 milk producing cows with an equal number of replacements growing up toward their production years.
The operation was started by Harry Souza in 1933 when he began accumulating small parcels of adjacent land in California’s San Joaquin Valley. The farm now fills 340 acres and grows alfalfa, corn, and oats for feed. The feed grains are stored in large ground pits and are sold to the local feed mill. The recently computerized feed program keeps highly detailed and accurate records of the farm's Total Mixed Rations.
In 1987, the Souza dairy operations began using computer technology to monitor and optimize the entire dairy operation, which increased the overall efficiency of the business. This trend was as important to the business’s financial management as it was to the farm’s operations. As milk supply and demand fluctuate, prices move up and down accordingly. By monitoring feed and other costs closely, Margo was able to track and manage the business’s performance with up to date information.
In 2013, Margo completed the sale of her dairy farm and entered retirement, after a several decades as an owner/manager. She now spends her time and energy supporting and mentoring budding entrepreneurs. She is also providing support for the Margo F. Souza Leadership Center at University of California, Merced. Margo is currently serving on a board for a Mobile Farmers Market project in Merced. Making Someone Happy will promote better nutrition and help educate families on the importance of fresh fruits and vegetables in combating obesity. The project is scheduled to roll out in mid-November, 2013.