ENFIELD, Conn. — At Farm Credit East’s Annual Meeting held earlier this week, the financial cooperative was pleased to announce two winners of the inaugural Lipinski Rural Initiatives award. This award was created by Farm Credit East’s Board of Directors in 2020 to recognize former Farm Credit East CEO Bill Lipinski and aims to recognize innovative and transformational efforts to revitalize Northeast rural communities. Each recipient was awarded $25,000.
Three River Farmers Alliance is the first recipient of the 2021 Lipinski Rural Initiatives Award. In 2014, four farms in New Hampshire’s Seacoast region joined together to market their produce. Today, that network has grown to 58 local producers and 25 employees who share a vision of creating healthier communities and expanding economic opportunities for the region’s farmers. Learn more at ThreeRiverFa.com. Three River Farmers Alliance will use its $25,000 award to move to a new facility where it plans to expand the availability of locally sourced food.
The second recipient is Letchworth Gateway Villages, a collaborative effort of the towns of Geneseo, Mt. Morris and Perry in New York’s Genesee Valley. These towns have been working together to attract investment by leveraging the area’s recreational and tourism opportunities and connecting them with new and existing businesses. The collaboration has generated over $800,000 in investment, helped spur a dozen new enterprises and created 30 new jobs. Learn more at LetchworthGatewayVillages.org. Letchworth Gateway Villages will use its $25,000 award as the seed capital for a rural impact fund to support new venture creation.
“Bill understood the long-term success of Northeast farm, forest products and fishing businesses is dependent on the health of the rural communities where they are based, so we created this award in his honor to highlight new approaches to enhance the quality of life in rural communities,” said board chair Laurie Griffen. “Both of this year’s recipients are doing excellent work to support their rural communities, which will benefit the Farm Credit East customers who call them home. We hope this award helps them further their efforts.”
Visit FarmCreditEast.com to view a short video on this year’s recipients. Funding for the award was made possible by contributions from Farm Credit East matched by its strategic partner, CoBank. Nominations for the 2022 award will open in the winter of 2021.
–Farm Credit East