Mary Beth Mazurek and her husband, Wayne, are living the Texas ranch life in Sidney, a small town about two hours southwest of Fort Worth. Mazurek Land & Cattle is a family ranch founded nearly 100 years ago in 1926, that operates today on 3,000 acres – land that is a harmonious combination of family and personal ranching. Operations are multi-faceted, and the cattle business is a cow-calf and stocker model that is self-contained with all hay and feed grown on-site. From time to time, some of the herd is professionally fed in the feedyard.
Mary Beth and Wayne are also investors in Producers Owned Beef, the first ever producer-owned processing facility in the U.S. Having recently broken ground on land in Amarillo, the state-of-the-art plant expects to be fully operational and running up to 3,000+ head per day by the end of 2025 and is estimated to create 1,600 jobs in the High Plains region of Texas.
Ranching is hard work, according to Mary Beth. “Not simply the physical demands,” she says. “But, factors outside of your control are the hardest. Like the weather and world events which are so unpredictable. All these things affect prices – for us, for you, for everyone — even if it hasn’t a thing to do with the cattle industry.”
“But the rewards of being in ranching are what keep us going. Rewards like everyday miracles, births, watching cattle grow and become healthy. It truly is a lifestyle like no other. There are few businesses where your kids grow up being with both mom and dad in wide open spaces, having so much freedom to roam and play, all while learning about life and how things work.”
Mary Beth is so passionate about ranching; you’d never know she married into the lifestyle. Her husband is a third-generation rancher, but Mary Beth actually began her career as a nuclear medicine technologist before becoming a full-time mom and rancher.
When Mary Beth and Wayne got married 40 years ago, she was “all in,” learning everything she possibly could about her new life in agriculture.
“I wanted to be as good at it as anyone out here so I jumped right in and learned how to drive a tractor, plow, sow, cut and rake hay,” she says. “Today, I still also help round up and work the cattle. I also drag a trailer to haul them to a new grazing spot or to the sale barn.”
Mary Beth has also been a certified personal trainer for 25+ years, scheduling her classes early in the morning so that she could be available for whatever each new ranch day brought and to prioritize her family and children.
“We have two boys and one girl. We lost our oldest when he was about to graduate from college. He wanted to come back and ranch and he loved everything about cattle. The loss of a child changes your life forever,” Mary Beth explains. “But our close-knit community was there for us.”
The Mazurek’s middle son, Kameron, is an attorney and CPA and helps ensure they have everything in line and accounted for. His wife, Bridget, a previous RN, also now works with him in their law/CPA firm.
“Kameron and Bridget have blessed us with three grandchildren,” says Mary Beth. “We are so lucky they live here and we get to see them all the time. They are still little, but love to tag along to help with ranch chores.”
The couple’s youngest child, Carly, graduated with an agriculture business degree and became a pilot while attending college. She’s married to Nick, who is also a pilot.
“When our daughter is here, she is helping her dad with cattle, or on a tractor. She still enjoys this life so much. Nick was a great addition to our family, not just because he’s a great guy, but also because he can fix anything — and there is always plenty be fixed out here!
Mary Beth also raises zebras on the property; she calls them her “therapy pets.” After her son passed and her daughter went off to college, she was looking for a pastime to distract her from the feelings of loss.
“I wanted something unique as a hobby,” she explains. “Something cool enough to help my foggy, grieving brain. Also, being a rancher, you also think about making money anywhere you can – so, I will often sell the offspring.”
She also tapped into her creative side with another hobby business, creating a business designing t-shirts that are personalized with ranch brands.
And, amazingly, she still finds the time and energy to run and is a member of the Texas Beef Team. Last year, when Mary Beth turned 60, she made a goal to race in new places and since then has run in Key West, Savannah, and Salt Lake City, among others.