Purdue’s College of Agriculture is mourning the loss of one of its most-noted agricultural economists. The university says Wallace "Wally" Tyner passed away Saturday after a brief illness. Purdue says Tyner was an “invaluable member of the Purdue community who lived his land-grant mission.”

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels said in a tweet  "Deeply saddened at the loss of Dr. Wally Tyner. A great scholar and warm, wonderful human being. A tragic way to start the school year. Thank you, Wally, for all you did and meant to Purdue."

Tyner joined the Purdue faculty in 1977 and served as head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue from 1989 to 2002. Jayson Lusk, the current department head of agricultural economics, praised Tyner’s impact. “Wally was a wise and trusted advisor to policymakers, business leaders, generations of students, and, of course, his friends and colleagues. Our department would not be where it is today without his foresight, passion and servant leadership,” Lusk said.

Tyner was known globally for research in the areas of agriculture, energy, and natural resource policies. Purdue says Tyner was often called upon by members of Congress and the White House for his analysis and insight.

“He conducted critical research and then passionately devoted himself to communicating his findings to audiences that ranged from small gatherings throughout Indiana to global conferences,” said Karen Plaut, the Glenn W. Sample Dean of Purdue Agriculture.

Tyner is survived by his wife Jean, his sons Davis and Jeffrey, their wives, and four grandchildren. Purdue says a memorial service will be held at a later date. The family has designated the Dr. Wallace Tyner Scholarship in Agricultural Economics at Purdue University’s College of Agriculture for memorial contributions.

Online donations can be made here or through the Purdue Foundation.