Ag Ed Graduate Student Spotlight: Greta Tank

GretaChoosing to attend the University of Minnesota, more specifically the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, was not even a question for Agricultural Education graduate student, Greta Tank. As a child, Greta said she had all the Gopher memorabilia a kid could ever want and she proudly wore her Gopher’s cheerleading outfit, along with her pom-poms to U of M sports games. “My love for the maroon and gold started at a young age and when it came time to apply for college, the University of Minnesota was my sole submission. I especially liked the mix of both campuses - the opportunity to attend a land-grant institution that values research and experience all that the Twin Cities has to offer,” Greta said.

Greta is a part of her 5th generation family farm in Cottage Grove, Minnesota. On the farm, they grow corn and soybeans, and growing up, Greta showed cattle and hogs in both 4-H and FFA. She was a member of the Randolph FFA Chapter and was heavily involved in 4-H, serving on the executive board for both her club and county. Greta graduated from the University of Minnesota in December 2016 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Communication and Marketing, and began graduate classes in the Spring of 2017.

During her freshman year, Greta planned out her coursework to include a fifth year masters program in Agricultural Education so she could take classes in both communications and education. “I have always enjoyed working with students and helping them understand new things and discover their potential… I am passionate about preparing the next generation of leaders to inform consumers about how our food is produced,” she said. Greta may not have a specific dream job pinpointed, but she strives to be a lifelong learner and wants to make an impact on others and her community.

While at the U, Greta has been incredibly involved on campus. She has been a member of the following clubs and organizations: Agricultural Education, Block and Bridle, Crops and Soils (secretary and pumpkin sales chair), Gopher Dairy (Banquet chair and Topline yearbook editor), National Agri-Marketing Association, Best Buddies, Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority (corresponding secretary), Emerging Greek Leaders, Order of Omega Greek Honor Society, and the Mortar Board Honor Society. Greta also completed shadow experiences at Rockford High School, Forest Lake Middle School, Forest Lake Alternative Learning Center, and Monroe Arts Upper Campus. These experiences, in addition to an internship with Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom her sophomore year, confirmed her interest in both communications and education focusing on agriculture literacy.

As an undergraduate, Greta’s favorite experience was being involved with the University’s Greek life and being a part of something bigger than herself, “The Greek community challenged me to be a better person and to get involved in the community.” Focusing on her life as a graduate student, her favorite opportunity is having the chance to TA for Dr. Swenson’s AFEE 2421 class this semester. Greta said, “I have learned so much about teaching and I am excited to take what I have learned and apply it at my student teaching placement school this spring!”

For incoming and current U of M students, Greta has some excellent advice, “Go to class: not just because you are paying for it, but because this is one of the few times in your life where you have access to so much information and ideas, your job is to learn and grow. Get involved: branch out and challenge yourself, join a student organization and get to know new people. Network: the agriculture community is a small world. Enjoy it because your time a the U of M will fly by!”

Greta’s Favorites:

  • Color: Orange
  • Animal: Dog
  • Quote: “Today is a good day to have a good day!”
  • Food: Dark chocolate
  • Hobby: Gopher sports, travel, and DIY projects