ENFIELD, Conn. — In conjunction with Bill Lipinski’s retirement as CEO, the Farm Credit East board of directors has created the Lipinski Rural Initiatives Award in honor of Bill’s service to Farm Credit customers and Northeast rural communities. This award is in recognition of Lipinski’s 25 years as CEO and 40 years of service to Farm Credit East and related organizations.
Farm Credit East is designating funds from its stewardship programs for monetary awards totaling $25,000 per year to individuals, organizations, or institutions that are undertaking innovative initiatives to revitalize rural communities. Farm Credit East strategic partner CoBank has agreed to match Farm Credit East’s contributions for the first five years.
“We wanted to find a fitting way to pay tribute to Bill’s leadership of Farm Credit East,” said Farm Credit East Board Chair, Matt Beaton. “Bill has always understood that for Farm Credit East customers to be successful, rural communities must be strong too.”
“CoBank is proud to partner with Farm Credit East to honor the legacy of Bill Lipinski,” said CoBank President and CEO, Thomas Halverson. “Bill’s commitment to Farm Credit and to our rural communities is immeasurable and we are delighted to support the Lipinski Rural Initiatives Award. It is not only a fitting tribute to Bill, but an extension of our own commitment of service to rural America.”
Northeast farms, commercial fishing and forest products businesses are at the heart of Farm Credit East’s stewardship efforts, including Farm Credit Northeast AgEnhancement grants, Farm Credit East Cares, other contributions and sponsorships, scholarships and support for beginning farmers and agricultural educators.
As a cooperative, Farm Credit East’s success is based on customer success, which depends not only on individual businesses’ results, but on the health of the rural communities where they are based. To be successful long-term, businesses need communities that have the infrastructure, quality of life and institutions providing critical services that allow them to attract and retain talent. The decline of some rural communities is a complex problem, and the Lipinski Rural Initiatives Award is intended to recognize innovative and transformational efforts to revitalize rural communities in the Northeast.
Winners of the Lipinski Rural Initiatives Award will be selected annually by a committee composed of representatives designated by Bill Lipinski, Farm Credit East and CoBank. The application/nomination process is being developed, and more information on the award will be released at a later date.
–Farm Credit East