Ph.D., 1970. Cornell University
M.S., 1968. Cornell University
B.S., 1962. University of Maine
Professor Emeritus at Ohio State University, and Former Professor at University of Florida and Michigan State University, Lawrence (Larry) W. Libby, grew up a “faculty brat” in Orono, Maine, where his father was on the faculty at the University of Maine. The family farm connection was an Aroostook County potato farm, one generation removed. Professor Libby received his BS from the University of Maine in 1962, majoring in agricultural science. Following three years of active duty as a U.S. Army aviator stationed in Seoul, Korea, and Norfolk, Virginia, he enrolled in graduate school at Cornell University. He was executive director of the New York State Commission on Preservation of Agricultural Land for a year between degrees.
Dr. Libby joined the agricultural economics faculty at Michigan State University in 1970 with a three-way appointment emphasizing resource economics and public policy. His extension and research program focused on environmental and resource issues in agriculture, public land management, and Great Lakes water quality. He taught land economics, policy analysis, and rural development. He took leave in 1974 to work on a forest policy project at Resources for the Future. Libby joined fellow MSU faculty member Robert Cutler in Washington in 1978 when Cutler was Assistant Secretary for Agriculture for Conservation, Research and Education. His title was the modest “Coordinator for Land, Air, Water and Solid Waste.”
In 1987, Professor Libby became chair of the Department of Food and Resource Economics at the University of Florida. While at the University of Florida, he worked with various commodity and policy groups dealing with the state’s agriculture and natural resources. His academic governance responsibilities, beyond chairing the Department, included helping organize and conduct management training for agricultural economics department chairs from around the country, and for all department chairs at the University of Florida. He chaired the strategic planning effort for the University of Florida Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences in 1993-94.
Professor Libby joined The Ohio State University in 1997. He was the first holder of the C. William Swank Chair in Rural-Urban Policy in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics (AEDE) from 1997 to 2005. He then was Interim Director of the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at Ohio State until his retirement at the end of 2006. His research program focused on the economic consequences of alternative institutional devices for affecting patterns of resource use. He worked on subjects related to competition for land and water at the rural-urban interface; policies designed to affect the rights and responsibilities of competitors for natural resources; the environmental consequences and contributions of production agriculture; and the economic and social performance of policies and institutions affecting the use of natural resources.
Professor Libby served as president of the Southern Agricultural Economics Association in 1991-92. He served on the AAEA Board of Directors from 1989 to 1992. He was AAEA President: 1994-95
Larry and and wife Lois now reside in Lamoine, Maine.