Jim Hanson is a Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (AREC), University of Maryland.  He serves as extension specialist in AREC with subject matter responsibilities for small farmers, beginning farmers, sustainable agriculture, local food issues, and organic agriculture.  

  • Twice awarded the Excellence in Extension Programs by the University of Maryland Alumni Association: College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (2012 and 1993) and also received the Distinguished Extension Program by the American Agricultural Economics Association Award for the outstanding individual extension program in 1994.
  • Awarded the University of Maryland’s Distinguished International Service Award by President Loh that recognizes significant contributions to the development of international programs at the UMD in recognition of international activities (27 countries including Iraq and Afghanistan).
  • Served as Principal Investigator (leader) for grants totaling over $3.8 million (all grants that Hanson has participated in total $4.6 million).
  • Served as the Assistant Director, Agriculture and Natural Resource Program Leader for University of Maryland Extension (1995-2001)
  • Served as the Associate Director and Associate Dean (acting) for University of Maryland Extension (2005 – 2006)


1983    Ph.D. University of Maryland, Agricultural and Resource Economics

1974    M.S.   University of Minnesota, Plant Breeding and Genetics

1972    B.S.   University of Maryland, Agronomy



Sustainable Agriculture, Cropping Systems, Organic Agriculture, International Agricultural Extension Systems, Environmental Policy, Farm Management