Dr. Jim Mazurkiewicz, Regents Fellow and director of the Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership program for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, has been awarded the Medal of Merit from the Republic of Poland.
Mazurkiewicz was presented the highest honor given to a non-citizen by Poland President Andrzej Duda during the Agro-Gala ceremony held June 14 in the gardens of the Presidential Palace in Warsaw. The award recognizes his leadership for building international agricultural cooperation between Poland and the U.S., and efforts to promote the Polish economy and partnership development domestically.
Mazurkiewicz, who speaks conversational Polish, has organized several key visits the past six years to Texas and Texas A&M University involving U.S. and Poland politicians, entrepreneurs, farmers and scientists to learn more about agricultural production and its economy in the Lone Star State and nationally. Participants included representatives in government, academia and industry, as well as elected officials, university administrators, professors, researchers, students, businessmen, women and farmers.
Mazurkiewicz is also president of the Polish American Council of Texas, a non-profit organization that furthers the knowledge of Polish culture, traditions, history and statewide events in Texas.
HIGHEST NON-CITIZEN HONOR
“I am most honored and humbled to receive the highest recognition a non-citizen can receive,” Mazurkiewicz said. “It is with great pride to continue to further my Polish heritage through agricultural education, developing business relations as well as forming partnerships and friendships between the Republic of Poland and the Texas agricultural industry. We all play an important role in producing enough food and fiber to feed the world. We can learn a lot from each other in addressing the challenges that lie ahead.”
Mazurkiewicz traces his Polish roots back to his great-grandparents, who came to the United States 130 years ago and settled in Chappell Hill. Mazurkiewicz continues the beef cattle operation, in addition to his work with AgriLife Extension.
Mazurkiewicz has worked for the Texas A&M University System for 38 years. In addition to serving as the director of the Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership, or TALL, program, one of the premier agricultural enhancement programs in the U.S., according to organizers, he also oversees the San Antonio Livestock Exposition Leadership Extension program. He is a national and state approved beef cattle judge and has judged over 350 shows in 10 states, including every major livestock show in Texas.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Texas A&M, a master’s degree in agriculture education from Texas Tech University and a doctorate in animal science from Texas A&M. He and his wife, Kathy, have three children, James, Kathy Ann and Stephanie.