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Retired University of Minnesota economist G. Edward Schuh of Lake Elmo, who was also a high-level U.S. policymaker, could make his expertise in agriculture and economics come alive for students and government officials alike.

Schuh, who helped shape international development policies, died May 4 in St. Paul of complications following heart surgery. He was 77.

Schuh served as dean of the university's Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs from 1987 to 1996.

From 1979 to 2006, he was a professor and leader at the university and the Humphrey Institute. In the mid-1980s, he took a break from the university to serve as director of agriculture and rural development at the World Bank in Washington.

C. Ford Runge, professor of applied economics and law at the University of Minnesota, said Schuh was among the first in the 1970s "to define U.S. agriculture as part of a global system of food production that emphasizes the role of exchange rates and other monetary phenomena in influencing prices, exports and production."

"His novel perspective, which is now part of economic conventional wisdom, needs to be more fully appreciated," said Runge.

Schuh grew up on a farm near Indianapolis and, with a 4-H scholarship, got into Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.

He was always grateful for the opportunity to become a scholar, often saying: "Only in the United States could the son of a farmer have the opportunities that I have been given," reported his daughter, Audrey Schuh Moore of Fairfax, Va.

As he advised Latin-American and African nations on agricultural and economic policies, "he was compassionate about the poor," said Terry Roe, a professor of applied economics at the university.

"In almost all dimensions of his life, he wanted to make a difference," said Roe. "He changed agricultural economics forever."

In the 1970s Schuh served on President Ford's Council of Economic Advisers and later as a deputy undersecretary for International Affairs and Commodity Programs at the Department of Agriculture in the Carter administration.

In Brazil, he developed agricultural economics research and teaching institutions.

He holds a raft of honors, including the prestigious Regents professorship.

At the university, he is remembered as a devoted teacher. Former student Julie Harrold, Humphrey Institute director of admissions, said he was available to students after hours, and supported events outside the classroom.

"The depth and breadth of his real-world experience that he could bring to the classroom made a huge difference in what we were able to learn and gain," Harrold said.

Schuh held master's degrees from Purdue and the University of Chicago, where he earned his Ph.D. in economics in 1961.

He retired from the university in 2006 but continued to work full time, teaching and advising at the university and serving as a consultant.

In addition to Audrey, he is survived by his wife of 43 years, Ignez of Lake Elmo; two other daughters, Susan Schaefer of White Bear Lake and Tanya dos Santos Modelli of Lake Elmo; a sister, Ruth Claus of Flemington, N. J., and three grandchildren.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at St. Jerome's Catholic Church, 380 E. Roselawn Av., Maplewood.