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The National Dairy Promotion and Research Board (NDB) honored Connie Seefeldt and Steve Maddox as the 2023 co-recipients of the Richard E. Lyng Award for their contributions and distinguished service to dairy promotion.

Seefeldt is a Wisconsin dairy farmer, former NDB board member and current Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin (DFW) board member.

Maddox is a California dairy farmer, former NDB board member and current Dairy Council of California board member.

The pair was recognized at this week’s Joint NDB/National Milk Producers Federation/United Dairy Industry Association Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla.

The award is named for former U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Richard E. Lyng, who played a critical role in implementing policies that led to the establishment of NDB more than 35 years ago. It honors leaders who have made a significant contribution to dairy promotion that benefits the entire industry.

Seefeldt, who has served on the DFW board since 1994, is the longest serving board member in the organization’s history. She is the fifth generation on her family’s dairy, which was founded in 1906.

“Connie has proven time and time again she will do whatever it takes to get the job done for our dairy industry because she cares deeply about growth and innovation in the dairy industry locally in Wisconsin, across the country and around the world,” said Chad Vincent, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin CEO.

Maddox joined his family’s business in 1978 after graduating from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo. In addition to dairy farming, the family grows grapes, almonds, alfalfa and silage. Maddox has a passion for dairy promotion and research, which led him to serve on the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy’s sustainability council from 2009-17. Additionally, he held roles on the NDB and Dairy Council of California boards and with the National Milk Producers Federation.

“Steve’s passion for dairy has never wavered and his dedication to promotion and research has been significant in California and across the country,” said Darrin Monteiro, California Dairies Inc. vice president of sustainability and member relations.

As part of the Richard E. Lyng Award, the NDB will contribute $2,500 in each winner’s name to an organization of their choice. Seefeldt has selected the Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Maddox has chosen the Dairy Shrine.

For information about the dairy checkoff, visit