His vision was to improve global agriculture and so he did with passion and tremendous entrepreneurship. Dr Pearse Lyons was at the heart of the Alltech Ideas Conference starting as a humble symposium 34 years ago and growing year after year to an industry leading event. The conference was held in Lexington, KY, United States, 20-22 May 2018.
But Dr Lyons did more than just build a multi-billion company and organise a impactful inspiring birthplace of ideas that change businesses, lives and our very future. Together with his wife Deirdre he was also involved in giving back via charity, establishing Alltech’s ACE involvement foundation, a charitable foundation to help fund the company’s philanthropic efforts, promoting lifelong learning via the Alltech young scientist programme and sponsoring more than a dozen state-of-the art science laboratories at primary schools. At the opening day of the ONE Ideas Conference the transformative power of ideas, envisioned by a man who passed away far too early, a man who revolutionised the ag industry, was honoured. In an emotional session his son Mark and wife Deirdre received the Alltech Medal of Excellence and with it the Alltech Humanitarian Award for Dr Pearse Lyons’ work.
“He was constantly encouraging us to be the best we could be for those around us so that they could flourish and become the best they could be,” said Mark, reflecting on Dr Lyons’ goal that Alltech should be built on passion, excellence and fun. “He wanted them to live with those values he had, and that excellence, something that he and my mother shared — maybe she even more so.” The Alltech Medal of Excellence, Alltech’s highest distinction, was awarded to Dr Lyons for his work as a visionary scientist. As an entrepreneur and a tireless innovator, Dr Lyons utilised his scientific expertise in yeast fermentation and his acute business sense to revolutionise the animal feed industry through the introduction of natural ingredients to animal feed. In the past 10 years alone, his scientific achievements have been listed in more than 300 patents.
Additionally, he was recognised with the Alltech Humanitarian Award for having a boundless philanthropic spirit. The award is bestowed annually to someone of strong character who uses their platform to positively influence and inspire those around them. For Dr Lyons and Mrs Deirdre Lyons, making a difference in the world by empowering others has been an everyday reality of their personal and professional lives. “We cannot replace Dr Pearse Lyons, nobody can,” said Mark. “But if we start to think like him, if we can get 10 people, 100 people, 1,000 people thinking like him, imagine what we can achieve together. There is so much to do, let’s embark on that journey in Dr Pearse Lyons’ honour.”