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Dairy farmer leader receives prestigious Lyng Award

November 17, 2021


2 minute read

North Dakota’s Kenton Holle Recognized for Contributions to Dairy Promotion

LAS VEGAS – The National Dairy Promotion and Research Board (NDB) honored Kenton Holle as the 2021 recipient of the Richard E. Lyng Award for his contributions and distinguished service to dairy promotion.

Holle, a dairy farmer from Mandan, N.D., was recognized at the Joint NDB/National Milk Producers Federation/United Dairy Industry Association Annual Meeting in Las Vegas.

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. The Lyng Award honors leaders who have made a significant contribution to dairy promotion that benefits the entire industry.

“This award celebrates farmers who have shown a long-standing commitment and dedication to dairy promotion,” said Alex Peterson, Missouri dairy farmer and chair of the NDB. “Kenton exemplifies this leadership with a more than 15-year commitment to advancing farmer priorities nationally, regionally and locally.”

Holle served as chair of the NDB in 2013-14. As chair, he oversaw the evolution of the national program from generic image advertising to helping grow sales and trust in dairy by working with and through the industry. “Kenton did a masterful job in sharing with other farmers why the transition to partnership was so valuable to the checkoff,” Peterson said.

This commitment to promotion extends through Holle’s community involvement. As a member of his local Lions Club, Holle was instrumental in the creation of “Salem Sue,” the world’s largest Holstein cow that is located on a hill outside of New Salem, N.D., and remains a national tourist attraction.

Today, Holle and his family continue to share dairy’s story and its importance to their community by hosting numerous farm tours, “breakfast on the farm” events and other activities at their Northern Lights Dairy.

As part of the Richard E. Lyng Award, the NDB will contribute $2,500 in Holle’s name to North Dakota State University’s College of Human Sciences and Education.

For information about the dairy checkoff, visit


The 37-member National Dairy Board, formed in May 1984 under the authority of the Dairy Promotion Stabilization Act of 1983, carries out coordinated promotion and research program to help build demand, and expand domestic and international markets for dairy products and ingredients. NDB funds, in part, Dairy Management Inc., which manages the national dairy checkoff program.