SWAG names Nicole Reese executive director
EVANSVILLE — Southern Wisconsin Agricultural Group has named a local agriculture teacher as its executive director.
Nicole Reese, agriculture teacher and Future Farmers of America adviser for Milton High School, will start her role with SWAG on Monday Jan. 20. She will be responsible for the nonprofit's daily communication duties and community outreach and presentations.
“We could not be more proud of being able to have her on board and are anxious for her to start,” said Mike Larson, SWAG board president who helped select Reese for the position in November.
The board wanted someone who shares its commitment to educating the public about agriculture and someone who is well respected and versed in the agriculture industry.
Reese, a Wisconsin native, fits the criteria, Larson and John Morning, SWAG board member said.
Reese grew up on a dairy farm near Sheboygan Falls and is a former Alice in Dairyland.
She graduated from UW-Madison in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in agriculture education and earned her master's degree in educational leadership from Cardinal Stritch University.
Reese was recently awarded the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation's Young Farmer and Agriculturalist Excellence in Agriculture award. The winner is chosen based on their agriculture knowledge, leadership in the Farm Bureau and involvement in other organizations.
SWAG, a nonprofit organization, is hoping to raise $16 million to $20 million to build an agricultural complex that would sit on 217 acres at the southeastern corner of Highway 14 and County M on Evansville's east side.
The Agriculture Education and Innovation Complex would feature an agriculture exposition center, discovery center for interactive learning experiences and an agriculture campus for students of all ages.
SWAG also has offered to host the Rock County 4-H Fair at the facility.
At a November Blackhawk Technical College Board meeting, Reese told public attendees and potential investors she is excited to be part of an organization that is working to expand agricultural opportunities.
“I think by having all the youth groups and high schoolers come out there is a great opportunity to get more people involved in agriculture,” Reese said.