The ‘Tough As Nails’ Farm Girl Is Also a Fitness Buff

Melissa Burns is a third-generation farmer competing on new CBS reality show Tough As Nails

CBS Melissa Burns is a third-generation farmer competing on new CBS reality show Tough As Nails

Tough As Nails is the latest reality competition series from CBS. It features 12 hard-working Americans from all manner of jobs — commercial fisherman, roofer, deputy sheriff, scaffolder, and more — and puts them through a series of individual and team competitions in order to win cash and prizes, with one contestant crowned the Tough As Nails champ at the end.

One of the contestants is Melissa Burns, a 27-year-old from Milford Center, Ohio, who spends her day getting down and dirty on her family farm. But in addition to that tough job, Burns has also founded a company called Farm Fit Protein. Read on to find out more about this engaging new reality TV star.


Farm Fit Proteins Is Burns’ Company That Specializes In High-Quality Meats

On the Burns’ Farm Fit Proteins website, Melissa talks about their row crops (wheat, corn, and beans) and their livestock operation that includes cattle, hogs, and egg-laying chickens. But the company is also all about nutrition and fitness.

“I have always had a passion for agriculture and raising the best quality meats possible for my family as well as others. Along with farming, I found a great love for fitness. I began my fitness journey about 7 years ago when I started running. Running then turned into weight lifting,” writes Burns. “One year ago I competed in my first fitness competition and I am currently training for another. My goal is to raise a lean meat that tastes great, and that holds great nutritional value, and I believe we have done it.”

FarmFit is her brand name, which promotes food, farming, and fitness. On the site, customers can buy whole, half, or quarters of pork or beef, whole chickens or a dozen eggs, in addition to various cuts of meat. There is also apparel, a blender bottle, an eight-week fitness challenge, and workout suggestions, which are also detailed on Melissa’s Instagram.


Burns and Her Husband Are Third-Generation Farmers

According to her Facebook page, Melissa Downerd Burns is married to Ron Grayson Burns. She studied at the Ohio State University and now is part of the Heritage Cooperative, a member-owned co-op that “serves the agricultural needs of farmers and residents in Ohio” by providing “four products and services departments: agronomy, energy, feed/farm supplies, and grain merchandising.”

The Burns have been married since June 2018 and announced earlier this year on Instagram that they are expecting their first baby in November 2020. Farming is in both of their families’ blood so hopefully, their child(ren) want to carry on the family business because it means so much to Melissa, even if it is incredibly hard work.

“Growing up on a farm, the manual labor side of it — it can be pretty intense. Honestly, we start our days around 4 o’clock in the morning, sometimes 3, and we go until we’re done. It has definitely made me tough as nails. It’s non-stop, it’s like organized chaos. We are always moving bales, concrete blocks. It can be exhausting but the reward is beyond rewarding and the hard work, there’s nothing that compares to it,” said Burns during the Tough As Nails premiere.

Tough As Nails airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

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