|Mary Anne Libby accepted the Commissioner’s Distinguished Service Award on behalf of her late husband, Russell, at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show in January 2013. English photo.
Walter E. Whitcomb, commissioner of Maine’s Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources, spoke these words at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show in Augusta in January when he honored the legacy of Russell Libby with the Commissioner’s Distinguished Service Award. Mary Anne Libby accepted the award on her late husband’s behalf.
Russ Libby held a passion for agriculture and our natural resources that he proudly wore on his work clothes, wrote into his poetry, shared both publicly or with anyone who wanted to talk about it and leaves to an inspired generation that has morphed from cottage beginnings to industrial-strength impact.
Russ Libby advanced a lifestyle into practically an art form, cut against the grain of conventional wisdom from the base elements: soil, water and sunshine.
Russ Libby fed the human need to leave an unspoiled legacy by his unending inquisitive drive for better answers to the impact of immediate satisfaction brought on by our over-consumption of natural resources.
For everyone in this room, the words organic agriculture, MOFGA, fresh, locally grown, and the growth spurt now a part of the bragging rights associated with Maine agriculture are synonymous with the memory of Russ Libby.
To the Libby family, the greater Libby family, thank you for joining us today and for the many years of sharing the talent of a person who cared so much for the future of Maine farming.