Lipinski Rural Initiatives Award
Former Farm Credit East CEO Bill Lipinski was an advocate for Northeast rural communities. During his tenure, he witnessed the economic success of some rural areas, while others faced hardships, including real or perceived lack of job opportunities/loss of key employers, declining populations/demographics, etc. Lipinski understood that the long-term success of Farm Credit customers depends on not only the vitality of their individual business, but also on the health of the rural communities where they are based, and he knew Farm Credit East could do more to combat this disparity among rural communities. That is why the Farm Credit East Board of Directors established the Lipinski Rural Initiatives Award upon his retirement — to grow the organization's support of rural communities in his honor.
In 2021, Farm Credit East designated $25,000 and the association's strategic partner CoBank matched those funds, making $50,000 available to distribute to innovative initiatives. The 2021 recipients of the inaugural Lipinski Rural Initiatives Award were announced at Farm Credit East's 2021 Annual Meeting held on March 22.
This year's recipients are Letchworth Gateway Villages, located in New York's Genesee Valley, and Three River Farmers Alliance, located in New Hampshire's Seacoast Region. Both recipients were awarded $25,000 to continue their work to enhance their surrounding rural communities. View the video below to hear from the recipients of this year's award.
The Lipinski Rural Initiatives Award aims to recognize innovative and transformational efforts to revitalize rural communities in the Northeast. The award is to recognize previous, existing and/or ongoing initiatives. It is not intended as a grant to fund future projects, although it is hoped the financial award and the recognition from receiving the award will enhance the recipients’ ability to continue to make a positive impact in the future.
The Lipinski Rural Initiatives Award aims to recognize and reward programs, projects, individuals, businesses, organizations and/or institutions that:
- Create jobs in rural areas of the Northeast
- Contribute to the quality of life in rural communities
- Enhance the infrastructure, such as community facilities and broadband, necessary for strong rural economies
This award is not intended to recognize innovative production agriculture practices unless there is a broader impact beyond the farm level.
Nominees should be based in Farm Credit East’s territory, although nominees from outside the territory may be eligible if the initiative for which they are being nominated is positively impacting the rural areas of Farm Credit East’s territory (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island). Self nominations are permitted.
Funds will be provided directly to the recipient. Awards will be made at the sole discretion of the selection committee.
The 2021 nomination deadline has passed. The application will open for 2022 nominations in late 2021.
Disclosure Requirement for Farm Credit Directors and Employees
Any director or employee of Farm Credit East or CoBank shall clearly indicate their affiliation with Farm Credit in their supporting materials. Failure to disclose this information shall cause the project to be ineligible for consideration.