Let me introduce you to Marion Lockard– Mom, Wife, Rancher, Engineer. This gal does it all!
Marion Lockard comes from a long line of ranchers. Her dad’s side of the family ranched in Montana and her mom’s side of the family helped settle and ranch in the Elm Creek, Texas area. Her ancestors faced great challenges as cattle ranchers during this time, but they persevered. In fact, there is a book written on Richard Coffey, Marion’s ancestor, and the impact he had on ranching in south Texas.
From a young age Marion has always had an interested in her family’s rich ranching history and she always knew that she would stay involved in the cattle industry. Despite facing a few road blocks, Marion is proud to say that she has followed in Richard Coffey’s steps, and Marion, along side her husband and son, is a rancher in south Texas.
We all know the ranching is a tough job and no day is the same as the previous. So on any given day you might find Marion feeding, doctoring, moving cattle, or getting whatever else needs done, done. There is no question Marion loves ranching. But without a doubt, she loves her son more and she loves raising him on the ranch. It is very important to Marion to raise her son in the cattle business. She knows first hand how this can shape a young person’s work ethic and future.
In addition to working on their ranching operation Marion also finds time to work as a production engineer at on Olfens unit. She optimizes a unit that produces propane, propylene and butane, while the main product stream is ethylene. This ethylene later is turned into plastic. Here is what Marion has to say about her “town job”:
“I love my job because of how challenging it is! Just as ranching and farming does, it pushes me outside of my comfort zone. It forces me to make the best with what I’ve got, and be innovative in how I accomplish a daily task. Just like a waspy, horned-momma cow, it keeps me on my toes. “
It is so amazing that Marion is chasing her two passions. Her passion for agriculture that was instilled from a young age and her engineering pathway that came about through her hard work and accomplishment at Texas A & M University Kingsville. Did I mention she graduated with honors? In any program that is a huge success, but for a Chemical Engineer, that is a MAJOR accomplishment. Marion did all of this while serving as Miss Texas A & M University, where she helped influence young students into reaching their highest potential.
I asked Marion what she thought were some of the current struggles people in agriculture are facing and I could not agree more with her points. She said some of the challenges are rain (or lack thereof) and market prices. I know that these two things are some of the struggles that almost ALL farmers and ranchers are facing these days.
I also wanted to ask Marion about the advice she would give a young person who wanted to pursue a career in agriculture and this is what she had to say:
“I would tell them if this is their passion, to jump in head first. Be prepared to make sacrifices- to forego the expensive purse or boots; this lifestyle is demanding. Vet bills, tack, etc… take precedence over material items because these are the tools that the rancher uses to make his living.”
Marion knows that ranching comes with its own set of unique challenges but she believes that if you are passionate about it, than it can be one of the most rewarding careers. She also encourages young people to get to know their local farmers and ranchers. She emphasizes creating working relationships with them to help learn from their experiences and operations.
Marion, who is deeply passionate about the working cowboy, knows that there is not a one size fits all approach to ranching. She knows that what works for some ranchers in one area might not necessarily work for other ranchers in a different territory. However, she feels that despite all the technology in this world the beef cattle industry is still dependent on cowboys and cowgirls saddling up in the mornings to check, move, and work their cattle. Marion feels that there is no machine, drone, or other piece of equipment that can do what the cowboy does.
When I asked Marion what she does in her spare time she laughed! As a mom, wife, rancher, and engineer spare time is hard to come by. But she does enjoy taking and editing picutres of her family and their ranching operation. Marion shares these wonderful images on her Instagram page. Here is what she has to say about the images she takes:
“But most of all, my goal is to preserve images of men, women and children, all working together to keep the cattle industry turning- images that these families will have for forever, to pass down from generation to generation, to remember the hard work behind what they did and why they did it.”
As someone who has just started taking ranch and cattle pictures, I could not sum it up any better. Promoting agriculture is important to our industry and Marion does an excellent job.