Deputy Secretary Jeff Lyon
Jeff Lyon was appointed Deputy Secretary by Secretary Ben Brancel in January 2011. He has had a long career in dealing with agricultural issues from a variety of perspectives.
Deputy Secretary Lyon began his career as a staff writer with The Country Today, after earning his bachelor’s degree in agriculture and journalism from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He next became a legislative assistant in former U.S. Rep. Steve Gunderson’s Washington office. Because of the concentration of dairy farms in the congressman’s district, Lyon spent a good deal of his time working on dairy and other agricultural policy issues. In 1987 he was named assistant director of the National Commission on Dairy Policy, created by Congress under the Food Security Act of 1985, to evaluate dairy policy and alternatives.
He comes to DATCP from his post as director of governmental relations with the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. There he was responsible for outreach on legislative and regulatory issues including land use, nonpoint pollution, nutrient management and wildlife damage, and he was the lead staff person on WFBF’s Dairy Advisory and Policy Development Committees. He previously served as WFBF’s member relations director, where he coordinated member recruitment and retention for 61 local chapters as well as overseeing the organization’s leadership development and training programs. Lyon has served on the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation Board of Directors and is a past member of the Wisconsin FFA Foundation Sponsors Board. In 2012, he received the Honorary State FFA Degree from the Wisconsin Association of FFA.
Lyon is married to Karen Finley Lyon, a speech/language pathologist in the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District. They have two children in college.