Mary Beth de Ondarza grew up on an 80-cow registered Holstein dairy farm in southern New York. She received her B.S. at Delaware Valley College and her M.S. at Cornell University. In 1994, she received her Ph.D. from Michigan State University. She then worked as a nutritionist in the feed industry in the Northeast. Her primary responsibilities were to provide on-farm nutritional consultation, educate sales staff, and formulate and test new products. In 2003, Mary Beth became sole proprietor of a nutritional consultation business for the dairy feed industry, Paradox Nutrition, LLC.