Barbara Mazurek standing on her Texas ranch.

In Memory of an Iconic FarmHer and True Survivor

I am deeply saddened to announce one of our iconic and favorite FarmHer’s passed away in August 2021, Barbara Mazurek. We have used her story and images to tell our story and promote FarmHer’s mission time and time again. She is often the person I talk about when people ask about a particular FarmHer whose story sticks with me. 

The thing that I will always remember about Barbara is her strength.

Born into a family of girls, it was clear early on that she would be the one to take on a ranching role. She married a rancher and then lost him in a tragic accident, decades ago. I can still remember the chills I felt as she told me the story of the accident and the aftermath. Barbara did what she had to do. She picked up and moved ahead. She carried on the ranch and raised her family. In the two times I visited her at the ranch, it quickly became clear that she worked tirelessly until the job was done, day in and day out.

She told me the thing she is most proud of is that she is a survivor.

Barbara lived through more than most. When I’m having a tough time or bad day I often think of Barbara – if she survived, so can I, so can you. A true FarmHer, she left her brand in my heart and the hearts of countless others. Rest In Peace, Barbara. This is her inspiring blog from my previous visit to her farm:

A Survivor

Nobody wants to be a survivor because that means by definition that you survived something tough.  Something horrible.  Something that nobody would ever think could be possible for themselves, nor would they wish upon another.  Barbara Mazurek is a survivor.  

Raised in a Texas ranching family, the oldest of three daughters, Barbara’s father knew from the start that she would be a rancher.  She worked closely with him on the ranch, knowing that it was her path in life.  She married into another ranching family and together the two families combined their legacy into one, The Mazurek Family Ranch in Utopia, Texas.

A lone survivor on a Texas ranch.

Surviving with Family by Her Side

Barbara and her husband Hubert raised three children together on the ranch.  She worked a job in town also, coaching kids in various sports at the high school.  Then the unthinkable happened

Barbara was at her mother’s ranch, trying to retrieve a bull that had gotten out when she was called in.  She received a call from her youngest son Raegan telling her to come home, that dad had died. 

Barbara raced back to the ranch and was met by her son, still in high school at the time.  He gave her the horrific news, that her husband Hubert had been pulled into a feed grinder while feeding pigs.  A worker at the ranch was the only one there when it happened and he tried to find help to no avail.  It was then that Barbara became a survivor.  

A woman standing in a barn with her sheep in Texas.

She pulled herself together, drove with her sons to pick up her daughter from college and  came home to bury her husband. 

Ranching Is Her Life

A week later she climbed on that same tractor that had taken Hubert’s life to feed the pigs because livestock and ranching don’t stop.  Not long after that Barbara retired from her coaching job to work full-time on the ranch.  She never considered quitting or selling – ranching is her life.

A herd of sheep standing in a pasture in Texas.

Today, over 25 years later, Barbara is still in Utopia, single handedly running the family ranch.

Sure she has some help on the weekends with fencing and other tasks that require more than she can handle at nearly 80 years of age.  Her kids also help out if needed – like on shearing days.  But the ranch is run by Barbara, day in and day out.  Seven days a week, 365 days a year. 

Survivor Surrounded by Goats

She raises Boer goats for meat, Angora goats for mohair, and also run some cattle.  There are also 28 peacocks roaming around the ranch. 

On the day I visited I made it just in time to follow along while Barbara did nearly three hours of chores around the ranch.  From feeding the goats to get them in the pen and night, to checking on the pregnant ones and then the nannies, Barbara made sure it was all done and done right.  Every animal fed, every fence checked and the ranch in good order. 

A woman standing in a barn shearing her sheep in Texas.

Barbara is an unintentional survivor, and she has not only survived but from my point of view, she is thriving.  She is active with her grandkids and their ag-related activities, serves as the President of the Bandera County Farm Bureau, lives without internet access or even a cell phone, and keeps her mind active through her love of reading. 

Barbara is an absolutely amazing woman.  She is someone that embodies the true spirit of a FarmHer – loving the land, caring for her community, and feeding the people.  

Watch Barbara’s video clips from RFD-TV here.

21 thoughts on “In Memory of an Iconic FarmHer and True Survivor

  1. I learned that sometimes it can be tough but if I keep my head up and do not give up, I liked this article because you got to see how easy you have life, how hard others work, and how physically mentally. This information was useful because I can learn that you have to work for what you want.

  2. Hi, I’m Nadera from 6th Mrs. Arey’s 4E Health Class. This story was very sad to hear that Barbara passed away. I loved learning about her life and seeing how she was strong through when her late husband died. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I liked this article because its about someone who has passed away sadly. I learned that Nobody wants to be a survivor because that means by definition that you survived something tough. This is useful information because it proves you can do alot.

  4. This is very sad but a great story! I think that everyone can be a survivor if they try! This was very entertaining and good to hear. I think I want to be like that as well! It helped me understand farming as well. Thank you!

  5. I love this it shows how much and how hard a women can work just like my grandma does.It also shows how much some people go threw but they still show a smile on there face.R.I.P🥺

  6. Hi,
    I am so sorry to hear about Barbara. She sounds like a strong and brave person. I think that this article is important because it can influence other people. Not just women but men as well. I think everyone should have a chance to be as strong and courageous as Barbara. This can inspire people to keep going even in the toughest times. Thank you Barbara!

    – Eden 6th grade health period 6E

  7. Hi,
    I am so sorry to hear about Barbara. She sounds like a strong and brave person. I think that this article is important because it can influence other people. Not just women but men as well. I think everyone should have a chance to be as strong and courageous as Barbara. This can inspire people to keep going even in the toughest times. Thank you Barbara for inspiring others!

    – Eden 6th grade health period 6E

  8. I loved this hart worming story about a hard working woman. know i now that you can love your jod for a long time. this is important because you can work hard and love you jod for so long

  9. I loved this hart worming story about a hard working woman. know i now that you can love your job for a long time. this is important because you can work hard and love you job for so long

  10. this story was sad yet entertaining i showed me to be brave and keep your head up when it is hard.

  11. I’m so sorry to hear about Barbara she sounded like an amazing person. I hope that I can be like Barbara one day and survive if something hard happens.

  12. I love how you use a friend on your website and capture her strength. I love the theme of the story, to be strong, even when things get tough. I think this can help me a lot with things in my life.

  13. i like this one because she was a true farmher after the people she lost along the way and she worked hard for the work she loved.

  14. I find This interesting because they talk about how she went through so much stuff and she was strong and kept working on the farm or ranch and took care of her family because she is a survivor. This can good information because it can show that you can survive during hard times.

  15. I liked this article because it showed that when life puts you down you have to push through it. Something I learned was that Barbra was such a hard-working woman and let her rest in peace <3.
    But this information is useful to me because now I know that if I think I can't do something, I remember, if Barbara did it, I can too.

  16. I am very sad to hear the news I think she was a nice person and deserved to live longer also I am glad I got to learn about her work as a farmher

  17. Awww… As much as it broke my heart to read this, I love that she continued her life and let it go. This is important becuase she stuck with the job for so long, no matter how hard it got.

  18. I am so sorry to hear about Barbara. I think that this is an important article because it can encourage not just women but men to be strong and brave. Rest in peace Barbara.

    – Makaiya 1E

  19. Hi. I am so sorry to hear that Barbara passed away but this was a very inspiring story because she worked hard. I learned that even though life may be hard sometimes you can still work hard and stay confidant. I think that Barbara was a strong person and very inspiring. Thank you for sharing this story!

  20. I like this story because it’s a very heart touching story. I learned that there are some very hard working women out there. I learned that women can work just as hard as men if you put your mind to it. This information is good because it gives motivation to like just keep going and work hard for what you want.

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