San Luis Obispo​

The late Douglas Maddox was a California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo alumnus widely known in the dairy industry as a leader, advocate and innovator who specialized in Holstein dairy cattle genetics. At the time of his death in 2011, Mr. Maddox’s family-owned dairy farms held the nation’s largest registered Holstein herd.

Mr. Maddox earned a Bachelor of Science in dairy science at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1957. Attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is a family affair; Mr. Maddox and his wife, Matilda, the couple’s two sons, daughter, son-in-law and three of their grandchildren are Cal Poly San Luis Obispo alumni.

Mr. Maddox’s passion for dairy farming formed at the early age of 13, when a neighbor in his hometown of Laton, California, gave him a Holstein calf. After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Mr. Maddox pursued this passion and eventually turned a 14-cow Holstein herd into one of the largest registered dairy farming operations in the nation, with more than 12,000 U.S. Holstein cows and 10,000 acres of farmland. Mr. Maddox was a partner in RuAnn Dairy and Maddox Dairy, renowned Holstein entities within the dairy industry. Today, three generations of Maddox family members remain involved in operating both dairy farms, as well as a third entity, Golden Genes. Mr. Maddox also served on the California Department of Food and Agriculture State Board.

Mr. Maddox was a passionate supporter of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, serving as a member of the President’s Cabinet from 1998 to 2011. He was a frequent in-kind donor to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s dairy science program and supported students specializing in dairy science.

Mr. Maddox was considered a dairy industry pioneer, as reflected by the numerous industry honors bestowed upon him. He was named the Cal Poly College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences honored alumnus in 1981. In recognition of his impactful leadership, advocacy and innovation in the agriculture industry, the California State University and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo are proud to confer upon Douglas Maddox the posthumous honorary degree of Doctor of Science.​​