William D. Knox, 85, who had been editor and publisher of Hoard's Dairyman magazine, a Wisconsin-based dairy industry publication that circulates worldwide, died Aug. 5 at his home in Fort Atkinson, Wis. He had respiratory failure.

Mr. Knox joined Hoard's Dairyman in 1941 and, in 1949, became the third editor of the twice-monthly magazine. He traveled widely, giving speeches, attending industry meetings and testifying before Congress.

During President Dwight D. Eisenhower's administration, he was appointed by the agriculture secretary to conduct federal hearings and advise the president and Congress on brucellosis-eradication programs. He also was appointed by President John F. Kennedy to the bipartisan National Agricultural Advisory Commission in 1961 and was reappointed by presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon.

In 1971, Mr. Knox was selected by Nixon to advise the administration on economic stabilization and international balance of payments. He was appointed by President Gerald R. Ford, in 1976, to the advisory committee on trade negotiations to counsel the president and Congress on the Tokyo Round of multilateral trade negotiations and was reappointed by President Jimmy Carter.

In 1972, Mr. Knox took on the additional titles of president and general manager of W.D. Hoard & Sons Co., publisher of Hoard's Dairyman and the Daily Jefferson County (Wis.) Union newspaper, and as operator of the Hoard's Dairyman Farm.

Mr. Knox managed the launch of Japanese- and Spanish-language versions of the magazine. Hoard's Dairyman today has subscribers in nearly 100 foreign countries. Circulation is about 82,000 for the English-language edition.

A Michigan native -- his father was U.S. Rep. Victor A. Knox (R-Mich.) -- Mr. Knox was active in 4-H and in his high school newspaper as a youth.

His wife, Jane, died in 1987.

Survivors include four children; 12 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.