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California Holstein “Remembers Friends” Douglas Maddox


Ruann & Maddox Dairies; Riverdale, Calif. Mr. Maddox, a local dairy producer and national dairy leader, passed away on Monday, December 19, 2011, at his office in Riverdale. Born on January 2, 1936 to Rufus and Annie Maddox in Hanford, Doug grew up on the family farm in Laton. He was a proud alumni of Laton High School, where he met his wife, Matilda Vink. He and Matilda married in 1955 and Doug graduated with a degree in Dairy Sci- ence from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo in 1957. At that time, Doug and Matilda, in partnership with Rufus and Annie, purchased a 500 acre ranch in Riverdale, and with Doug’s fourteen cows and fourteen heifers from his college dairy project, established RuAnn Dairy.


Te enterprise has continued to grow and diversify over the years, and today, in addition to the dairies, the opera- tion includes wine vineyards and almonds. However, it was his herd of Registered Holsteins that he considered his “hobby and passion”. He developed an extensive embryo transfer program over 25 years ago, which still continues today. He founded Golden Genes in 1974 for dairy sire progeny testing. Over the years, Doug and his family have exported dairy cattle, semen and embryos to over forty countries, and hosted the popular RuAnn Fiesta Sales.


Tis year Doug and Matilda would have celebrated 55 years in business and 57 years of marriage. Doug dedicat- ed a great deal of time to the industry. He was a past presi- dent of the California Holstein Association as well as Hol- stein Association USA. He was a charter member of the California Dairy Herd Improvement Association, served as its first president as well as being involved in the National DHIA. He gave leadership to the California Department


80 California Holstein News Annual 2012


of Food and Agriculture State Board, the California Milk Marketing Producer Review Board, Cal Poly President’s Cabinet and volunteered his dairy to the University of Cal- ifornia Extension in their research on dairy management practices. His community involvement included serving on the Riverdale High School Board and St. Ann’s Catholic Church.


Recently, he was a driving force of federal legislation to en- sure dairy industry sustainability. Doug traveled through- out the nation and around the world as a respected inter- national speaker and cattle judge.


Doug was honored numerous times throughout his ca- reer; they included the Holstein Association USA’s Elite Breeder Award, National Dairy Shrine Distinguished Cat- tle Breeder Award, honored by Western Dairy Business Magazine as Outstanding Dairy Producer of the Year at the World Ag Expo, Cal Poly Outstanding Alumni in the School of Agriculture, Elite Producer of the Year at the Elite Producers Dairy Conference and the California Hol- stein Outstanding Young Breeder and Senior Breeder of the Year recognitions.


Even though Doug’s reach in the dairy industry was far and wide, he kept his local, unpretentious, likeable demeanor. He was loved by his friends, employees and large, extended family. He was welcoming, no one was a stranger to Doug. Although his list of dairy accomplishments and involvement is incredibly long, his greatest love and source of pride was his wife and family, especially the fact that all of his children are involved in the dairy business. Doug and Matilda spent many relaxing weekends at their vacation home in Cayucos and, although he didn’t set foot on the beach, looked for- ward to the annual family beach week every July.


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