Richard J. Goodman, 79, an agricultural economist who was a vice president of the major grain exporter Continental Grain for many years, was found dead March 26 at his home in Potomac after an apparent heart attack.

From 1976 to 1993, Mr. Goodman worked for Continental Grain as vice president for government affairs in charge of the Washington office. Afterward, he spent about 15 years as a consultant to the Washington office of Informa Economics, a Memphis-based commodity information and management consulting company.

Richard John Goodman was born on a farm in Milton, N.D. He graduated from North Dakota State University in 1953. After Air Force service, he returned to North Dakota State and received a master’s degree in economics in 1958. He received a doctorate in agricultural economics and international trade from the University of Minnesota in 1961.

Early in his career, Mr. Goodman was a staff economist for President Lyndon Johnson’s National Advisory Commission on Food and Fiber; a vice president of the old grain giant Cook Industries in Washington and Tokyo; and associate administrator of the Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

He was a past chairman of the U.S. Grains Council, which focused on developing export markets for U.S. grain and sorghum products,

His wife, Josephine Davis, whom he married in 1956, died in 1983. Survivors include two children, the Rev. Ross Goodman of Winchester, Mass., who is a Lutheran pastor, and Ruth Goodman of New Orleans; and six grandchildren.

— Adam Bernstein