2020 Outstanding Alumni Award Winners

Gretta Hanson, '04

Gretta Hanson earned her B.S. in Applied Economics in 2004. She grew up on a crop farm in the Red River Valley and studied applied economics in hopes of someday working with farmer-owned cooperatives. Following college, Gretta pursued a legal career, earning advanced degrees in law, business, and agricultural economics. She has served as in-house counsel at Land O’Lakes and CHS. She is an adjunct faculty member at the University of St. Thomas, volunteers at a housing law clinic, and is actively involved in both the Minnesota State Bar Association and the American Agricultural Law Association.

Taro Nagashima, '03

Taro Nagashima received his M.S. in Applied Economics in 2003, under the supervision of Jean Kinsey. His career with Cargill has focused on managing the specialty grains and oilseeds program for market export. He returned to Minnesota in 2019 after a time in his native Japan. He hopes that expansion of the program will lead to higher premiums, assisting a struggling market with opportunities to help both farmers and consumers.

Mike Swanson, '98

Michael Swanson earned his M.S. under the supervision of Wilbur Maki and his Ph.D under the supervision of George Morse. Mike joined Wells Fargo in 2010 as a senior agricultural economist and consultant. His responsibilities include analyzing the impact of energy on agriculture and strategic analysis for key agricultural commodities and livestock sectors. His focus includes consumer food demand and its linkage to agribusiness. Additionally, he develops credit and risk strategies for Wells Fargo’s customers, and performs macroeconomic and international analysis on agricultural production and agribusiness.

Congratulations to all of our 2020 Outstanding Alumni Award winners. We are eager to celebrate you and your accomplishments in the coming year.