Dr. Paarlberg combined eight years of farming experience with a dedication to public service to make a lasting contribution to the agricultural economics profession. He ran his family farm for eight years after high school before earning his undergraduate degree at Purdue University. He received his master's and, in 1946, his doctorate from Cornell University and returned to Purdue to join the agricultural economics staff. In 1953 he was appointed economic advisor to Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson. He was appointed assistant secretary of agriculture in 1957, and in 1958 was named special assistant to President Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was instrumental in the development of the Food for Peace Program and was named its coordinator. Upon his return to Purdue in 1961, Dr. Paarlberg was named distinguished professor and received the Sigma Delta Chi Award for the Best of Purdue's Good Teachers (1961), the D. Howard Doane Award (1966), the Federal Land Bank Commemorative Medal for Outstanding Service to Agriculture (1967), and the Award for Outstanding Teaching Performance at Purdue University (1969). He was named a fellow of the AAEA in 1971.