Industry Support

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.

For 2022, Farm Credit East and its strategic partner CoBank have committed a combined $50,000 to individuals, organizations or institutions that are undertaking innovative and transformational efforts to revitalize Northeast rural communities.

2021 Recipients

The 2021 recipients were 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. 


To Submit A NOmination

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, Rhode Island and Vermont). 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 application period has passed for 2022. Recipients will be contacted by March 31, 2022.

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.