2022 Outstanding Alumni Award

September 30, 2022

Ruttan Hall Basement Level

Congratulations to all of our outstanding 2020 recipients: Gretta Hanson ('04), Taro ('03), and Michael Swanson ('98). We honor their insightful applications of economics in careers dedicated to agriculture. We will celebrate their achievements on Friday,
September 30th, 2022.


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 farmerowned cooperatives. Following college, Gretta pursued a legal
career, earning advanced degrees in law, business, and agricultural economics. She has served as in-house counel 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 the Minnesota State Bar Association and American Agricultural Law Association.


Taro Nagashima recieved 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.


Michael Swanson earned his M.S. under the supervision of Wilbur Maki and his Ph.D under the supervision of George Morse. Michael 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 the systems analysis of consumer food demand and its linkage to agribusiness. Additionally, he develops credit and risk strategies for Wells Fargo's customers and performs macroeconomics and international analysis on agrucltural production and
agribusiness.