He was 73.
Lyons founded the Lexington-based animal nutrition company in 1980 and sought to use his experience working with yeast fermentation to address challenges in animal nutrition.
Aidan Connolly, chief innovation officer, Alltech told FeedNavigator:
"Dr Lyons was a true visionary. Coming with a background in brewing and distilling allowed him to see the digestion and fermentation process inside an animal in a very different way. This led to pioneering work on live yeast culture in dairy and beef. Based on his thesis from 1972, the development of the first enzyme cocktail for animal nutrition launched in 1983, followed by the launch of the first mannooligosaccharides in 1991 and a yeast-based mycotoxin binder in 1992. All of these were considered breakthroughs at the time.
"Allied with a unique sense of sales and marketing, he transformed the way technologies were implemented to feed animals naturally. The work that he pioneered was backed by well over 300 patents, thousands of trials and the sponsorship of more than 400 PhDs within the last 10 years."
A leadership strategy for the company has been established and it will remain privately held in the ownership of the family. Mark Lyons has been named Alltech chairman and president, Alric Blake is CEO and company treasurer and Michael Castle II is the vice president and company secretary, Alltech reported.
In regard to the founder's legacy, Alltech communications spokesperson, Susanna Elliott, added:
"Dr Lyons was always looking farther into the future. In 1989, when he committed Alltech to its ACE principle of always doing well by the animal, consumer and the environment, it was an unheard of and perhaps even ridiculed idea. Yet time has proven that he was ahead of what has now become a standard. He was never afraid to challenge the status quo, break a system and ultimately find a better way. Propelled by his own personal curiosity, he inspired countless innovations.
"Most importantly, however, he leaves a legacy of personal character."
"In Dr Lyons’ own words: 'The legacy I would like to leave is, ‘we made a difference.’ It’s not about making money; it’s about making a difference.'
"And, that he did. Whether it was in leading company-wide philanthropic efforts such as Alltech’s Sustainable Haiti Project or, recently, Hope after Harvey disaster relief for farmers, or his private acts of kindness."