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Alltech founder honored

Pearse Lyons named Dairy Shrine Pioneer Award winner

Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder of Alltech, was honored posthumously this week as a recipient of the National Dairy Shrine’s Pioneer Award, which recognizes dairy industry leaders who have made significant contributions to dairy throughout their lives. An Irish biochemist and entrepreneur, Dr. Lyons immigrated to the United States and founded Alltech in 1980 with the mission to improve the health and performance of people, animals and plants through natural nutrition and scientific innovation.

Dr. Lyons was an entrepreneur and tireless innovator with a keen scientific mind. He has been widely recognized for his contributions to science and agriculture and was awarded honorary doctorates from many colleges and universities around the world. He was also revered as an inspirational leader and communicator, living each day with passion and purpose. He and his wife, Deirdre Lyons, funded and oversaw the construction of more than a dozen state-of-the-art laboratories at primary schools in Kentucky and Ireland, hoping to inspire the next generation to explore the sciences and, even more importantly, be curious about the world around them. This passion for impact through education continued with the establishment of the Alltech Young Scientist program: the largest global agriscience competition of its kind. It has engaged more than 100,000 university students.

The Lyons family has shared in this legacy and continues it today. His wife Deirdre, co-founder of Alltech, is director of corporate image and design, designing and outfitting the company’s more than 80 offices around the world and overseeing philanthropic involvement. Their son, Dr. Mark Lyons, is president and CEO of the company.

“I often consider how my father would respond to all the turbulence our industry faces today,” said Dr. Mark Lyons. “What I am absolutely certain of is that he would look beyond the challenges to the abundance of opportunities, from nutrition security to carbon capture, and tell us to put all of our energy into them. My mother and I are honored to be joined by more than 5,000 colleagues globally who are dedicated to carrying forward Dad’s legacy of insatiable curiosity, optimism and solutions focus as we continue Working Together for Planet of Plenty.”

Dr. Pearse Lyons, along with the other 2023 recipients of the Pioneer Award and the families of Dr. George Heersche Jr. (posthumously), Dr. Richard Saacke and Dr. Charles Sniffen, were honored at the National Dairy Shrine’s Awards Banquet on Monday, Oct. 2 in Madison, Wisconsin. Portraits of each winner will be displayed in National Dairy Shrine’s Dairy Hall of Fame and Museum in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.

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