A True Legend

Dr. Pearse Lyons, Founder and President of Alltech, has sadly passed away and the IFAJ has lost a dear friend.

I had the pleasure of knowing him for over 25 years. He was a charismatic man, full of life, a true legend.

His association with IFAJ goes back to 2001, when he invited the IFAJ executive to Lexington for the Alltech symposium. The ONE symposium, now in its 35th year, gathers over 4,000 world leaders in agri-business each year. It was the brainchild of Pearse who started Alltech 37 years ago with just $10,000 in seed capital.

His title sponsorship of the Alltech World Equestrian Games was considered to be one of his greatest achievements. He put up the best part of 15 million dollars of his own money to bring the games to Kentucky. He tried and failed to bring the games to Ireland in 2014, despite offering the Irish Government 10 million euro, but the little matter of austerity got in the way. He continued to be involved with WEG in France.

His commitment to IFAJ continues today as Alltech partners with IFAJ for the young leaders programme. Over 100 young leaders have successfully been mentored by Alltech over the last 10 years.

He was a people’s person, and a proud Irishman. His company today employs over 4,000 people across 130 countries.

He was a friend and an inspiration to us all. I had the pleasure of presenting him with the Royal Dublin Society Gold Medal for Industry and Commerce in 2014, for his outstanding contribution to Ireland internationally.

As a former President of IFAJ, may I offer our condolences to his family – his wife Deirdre, daughter Aoife and son Mark.

I have no doubt that he is already organising a singsong in heaven, commencing with Molly Malone.

May he rest in peace.

David Markey