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National Dairy Board honors G. Joe Lyon for contributions to dairy promotion

Lyon was the driving force behind the creation of the Dairy Foods Research Centers in the 1980s.

G. Joe Lyon as the 2012 recipient of the Richard E. Lyng AwardThe National Dairy Promotion and Research Board (NDB) honored G. Joe Lyon as the 2012 recipient of the Richard E. Lyng Award for his dedication and distinguished service to dairy promotion. Lyon, a dairy producer from Toledo, Iowa, was recognized at the Joint NDB/National Milk Producers Federation/United Dairy Industry Association (UDIA) Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla.

The award is named for former U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Richard E. Lyng, who played a key role in implementing policies that led to the establishment of the NDB nearly 30 years ago. The Lyng Award honors dairy industry leaders who have made a significant contribution to dairy promotion that benefits the entire industry.

“Joe Lyon has been one of the most active dairy promoters and leaders over the past 50 years,” said Steve Maddox, California dairy producer and NDB chair. “Joe was the driving force behind the creation of the Dairy Foods Research Centers in the 1980s that led to a coordinated, cost-effective plan to drive checkoff-funded nutrition, product and technical research.”

Lyon was the principal player in developing Lyon Jersey Farm, which is among the most recognized and appreciated Jersey herds in the country. He works in partnership with his son Eric, nephew Stuart and their families.

In addition to his work as a founding member of the National Dairy Board, Lyon continues to support dairy promotion. He represents Midwest Dairy Association on the Midwest Dairy Foods Research Center Advisory Board and played a critical role in adding Iowa State University to the Midwest Dairy Foods Research Center in 2010.

Promoting dairy is truly a Lyon family affair. Joe’s late wife Duffy was known nationally as the “Butter Cow Lady” for her butter art sculptures that generated thousands of media stories.

As part of the Richard E. Lyng Award, the NDB will contribute $2,500 to the Iowa State University Department of Animal Science.

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