Dr. Tyrus R. “Ty” Timm devoted 38 years to teaching, research, and Extension work at Texas A&M and headed the Agricultural Economics department for 20 years. In 1977, A&M President Jarvis Miller said that “[Timm] exemplified all of the qualities that make a man great—humility, dedication, loyalty, integrity, and concern for others. His philosophy of administration was always to try and recruit people better than he in order to build and look to the future.”
Dr. Timm was born in Hallettsville, Texas and graduated from Texas A&M University in 1934 with a Bachelor’s degree in marketing and finance. He received an M.S. degree in 1936 in agricultural economics. Another Master’s degree and a doctorate in public administration came in 1947 and 1949 from Harvard University.
Dr. Timm began his professional career as an agricultural economist at New Mexico State University at Las Cruces in 1936. He served as a farm management specialist with the Texas Agricultural Extension Service from 1938 to 1944; agricultural economist, Office of Price Administration, 1944-1945; administrative assistant, Extension Service, Texas A&M, 1946-49; professor of agricultural economics and extension economist, Texas A&M, 1949-1953; and was named Department Head of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Texas A&M, in 1953-1973. He also served part-time as full professor and research economist until he retired in 1975.
His career centered on the formulation of agricultural policy; he was considered an authority on policies dealing with Western Europe and the Common Market. Starting in 1962, he made seven study trips to Europe. Former Texas Governor John Connally selected him as chairman of the Governor’s Committee and Report on the European Common Market and Texas Agriculture in 1963. He consulted with public and private trade leaders, American Embassy officials, and attachés of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service.
Dr. Timm received many honors and awards during his career. In 1977, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Texas Federation of Cooperatives, the Houston Bank for Cooperatives, and the Texas Cooperative Ginners Association. He was cited for distinguished service to the Texas A&M College of Agriculture by the Texas House of Representatives in 1976. He was recognized in 1975 by the National Public Policy Education Conference as the only land grant university representative in the nation to have served continuously on the national committee during the NPPEC’s 25-year existence.
Other honors for Dr. Timm included a special award from the Texas Farm Bureau Federation for meritorious service to Texas Agriculture, and the Texas Academy of Honor Award in Agricultural Credit from the Federal Land Bank, Federal Intermediate Credit Bank and the Bank for Cooperatives of Houston. In 2000, the Texas A&M University Agricultural Economics faculty and the American Agricultural Economics Association established the Ty Timm Appreciation Club in recognition of his leadership helping to establish the National Public Policy Education Conference as the forum for educating members of the profession in public policy education. Dr. Timm was honored as an international ambassador for agricultural economists who recognized the potential for trade in agriculture products long before it was professionally popular. He was a key factor in building the agricultural economics profession in the South to service the needs of farmers and students.
After a lengthy illness, Dr. Timm died at the age of 65. He was considered one of the nation’s most respected agricultural professionals. He was married to Valerie and they had one daughter, Susan Riggs.