Jennifer Swain grew up amidst the agricultural and farming industries and took great pride in the work even as a child. She had a sense of how crucial farming was to addressing the world’s problems and keeping people healthy, and wanted to continue this work when she grew up. Ms. Swain’s journey began at South Florida State College, where she completed an Associate of Arts in biology and biological sciences in 2013 before pursuing additional coursework in environmental biology at Indian River State College the following year. Deeply committed to education and driven by a lifelong learning ethos, Ms. Swain continued her studies at Florida Atlantic University for the next several years, earning certificates in geographic information systems and environmental sciences before graduating in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in biology.
While enrolled at Florida Atlantic University, Ms. Swain also worked for the school as an education and field assistant, supporting professors and staff in several departments from 2014 until 2017. In 2016, she was named secretary of The Sebring Partnership, an events planner responsible for coordinating and staging themed, seasonal community events highlighting the beauty and unique culture of historic downtown Sebring, Florida. After four years of service as secretary, Ms. Swain rose to become vice president of the organization in 2021. She joined Lykes Bros., Inc., a Florida-based agricultural producer with property across several Southern states, as a GIS coordinator in 2017, a position she continues to occupy.
Ms. Swain is passionate about advocating for other farmers and ranchers, especially female agribusiness owners. Since 2017, she has worked with the Farm Bureau and Florida Cattlewomen to act as a voice for agricultural producers, and since 2019, she has been the chair of the Highlands County Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers. As chair, she supports professional networking between ranchers aged 20-35 and stays involved in state legislation, bills, and policies to determine what can be the most beneficial for their members. She considers it an honor to listen to the needs of her peers and represent them at a larger scale, and hopes to someday become more involved in lawmaking.
In 2019, Ms. Swain became the chief executive officer of Crimson and Lace, LLC, a ten-acre cattle ranch. She considers starting the ranch to be her greatest professional accomplishment and looks forward to its continued growth over the coming years. Ms. Swain plans to add more cattle to her herd and explore the possibilities of adding an aquaculture operation to her property, and she hopes to be based on a larger ranch within five years. While running her ranch, she has continued to take classes and earn professional certificates, completing a rural resilience certification through Michigan State University Extension in 2021 to complement her earlier credentials in volunteer management, prescribed fire management, scuba diving and geodatabase topology.
In recognition of her hard work and dynamic approach to the industry, Ms. Swain has been the recipient of three consecutive DeKalb Agriculture Awards. Though dedicated to her work with the Highlands County Farm Bureau, Ms. Swain also volunteers with the United Way of Central Florida, holding an IRS audit position for their Community Investment Team in 2020, and serving as chair of the Community Investment Team- Education in 2021. In her personal time, she is active in Toastmasters International and enjoys working on skills that she could eventually use to help support farmers and ranchers. She lives by the credo “always be a voice,” and strives to make a positive impact with everything she does. Passionate about agriculture and proud to be a young woman in the industry, Ms. Swain looks forward to continuing her work for decades.