Lyons presented award for ag leadership

Kansas rancher and industry leader Jan Lyons of Manhattan was honored last week by the Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City.

Lyons was presented the Jay B. Dillingham Award for Agricultural Leadership and Excellence during a May 18 luncheon.

With the support and encouragement of her husband, Frank, and daughters, Debbie and Amy, Lyons established the family ranch in 1977 through the purchase of a group of bred heifers and a few select Angus cows from top breeders in the state. Today, Lyons Ranch celebrates 45 years of continuous family ownership and operation, with three generations actively engaged.

Lyons has been a leader in various industry organizations over the years. She served as the first president of the Kansas Angus Association in 1981 and the first woman president of Kansas Livestock Association in 1994. Lyons was chair of the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board in 1996. She served as National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president in 2004 and was named Producer of the Year by BEEF magazine that same year for her leadership during the bovine spongiform encephalopathy crisis. In 2008, she was recognized as Stockman of the Year by Kansas State University and the Livestock and Meat Industry Council.

Abner Womack, professor emeritus of agricultural economics and co-founder of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri also was honored with a Dillingham Award at the event. The award is the highest honor presented by the council.