Giving Back to Northeast Rural Communities

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FARM CREDIT EAST STEWARDSHIP Giving Back to Northeast Rural Communities



Matt Beaton Farm Credit East, Board Chair

Bill Lipinski Farm Credit East, CEO

Dear Reader: Farm Credit East is committed to the Northeast agriculture, commercial fishing and forest products industries, as well as rural communities. This commitment extends beyond the financing and services we provide to customers’ businesses and rural homeowners. Farm Credit East also makes significant contributions to farm, commodity, rural and youth organizations. These organizations play an important role in promoting the industries we serve and supporting the communities where our customers and employees live. Farm Credit East’s Board of Directors play an important role in these stewardship efforts. The Board’s AgInitiatives Committee oversees the range of Farm Credit East’s stewardship activities and reviews contributions periodically to ensure we’re supporting causes and initiatives important to our mission to serve agriculture today and tomorrow. Farm Credit East’s stewardship includes monetary contributions from the Association and employees alike as well as staff’s volunteer time. Our staff dedicate countless hours of their time to a wide variety of organizations working with agricultural youth and promotional programs that build a greater understanding of Northeast agriculture, forestry and fishing. This includes both helping out at local events and serving on the boards of community and industry organizations. Farm Credit East is a strong supporter of employee involvement. It exemplifies the commitment of our staff to support the industries we serve. More importantly, the efforts of industry organizations to advance and promote agriculture, commercial fishing and forest products, will help sustain Northeast rural communities for the long term. In the pages that follow, you will learn more about the organizations and efforts Farm Credit East supports. Activities range from research and innovation to advance the industry and develop the next generation, to efforts that support local communities and consumer education. Among these pages, you will also see photos of our staff volunteering their time in the community, and in many cases, getting their hands dirty right alongside our customers. Farm Credit East staff are passionate about the people and the industries we serve, and their commitment to volunteering in their local communities exemplifies what it means to be a Farm Credit East employee. Thank you for reading.

Bill Lipinski Farm Credit East CEO

Matt Beaton Farm Credit East Board Chair INTRODUCTION


Each June, Farm Credit East staff in Batavia, N.Y., help out at the Genesee County Farm Bureau’s Kinderfarmin’ event to expose children to everyday farm duties.


FOSTERING THE NEXT GENERATION OF AGRICULTURE The long-term strength and soundness of Northeast agriculture, commercial fishing and forest products industries is dependent on the next generation. Many Farm Credit East staff got started on their agricultural career paths through their own participation in groups such as 4-H and the National FFA Organization (Future Farmers of America), so their continued mentorship and involvement in these programs is important to both them and Farm Credit East. Farm Credit Northeast AgEnhancement has supported the New York FFA Leadership Training Foundation for a 4


number of years. Our contribution to this program supports the attendance of 42 state FFA leaders, from New York and the six New England states, at the National Leadership Conference of State Officers (NLCSO). Additionally, Farm Credit East is involved in the FFA Star Farmer program, an annual program to recognize top FFA students with aspirations in various sectors of agriculture. Not only has Farm Credit Northeast AgEnhancement provided annual support to this important program, but our staff also serve as judges for this competition.

Other efforts to develop the next generation of agriculture that Farm Credit East is committed to supporting include the Maine TREE Foundation, which provides teachers and other leaders with a first-hand experience about the economic and environmental importance of the Maine forestry industry. Cornell Dairy Fellows is also an important program to Farm Credit East. This program provides students the opportunity to tour dairy farms and learn about the challenges and opportunities in the dairy industry. Farm Credit East has also developed our own programs to support the develop-

ment of the next generation. FarmStart was established in 2005 and provides working capital to help beginning farmers and cooperatives get their businesses off the ground. As of June 2018, FarmStart has invested more than $12.7 million with over 275 agricultural and fishing entrepreneurs throughout the Northeast. In addition to investment funds, this program offers ongoing financial and management training to help the new farmers develop the financial management skills to be successful. GenerationNext is another program Farm Credit East offers to help develop the management skills of the next generation. Through this seminar series, Farm Credit East business consultants work with young farmers to advance management skills and business knowledge. Farm Credit East’s Young, Beginning, Small, Veteran farmers program (YBSV) assists these types of producers by providing special incentives, from reduced interest rates and fees to discounts on financial services and software. Farm Credit East has also been a strong supporter of efforts that assist veterans’ involvement in agriculture. Several years ago, Farm Credit East made veterans eligible for the same financial incentives as young, beginning and small farmers. In addition, the association helped launch the New York chapter of the Farmer Veteran Coalition and one of our staff is a founding board member. We continue to have a dedicated veteran liaison to build relationships with veteran farmers. SR

FarmStart advisors work closely with beginning farmers.

Farm Credit East staff serve as judges for the FFA Star Farmer Program.

Farm Credit East awards more than 30 scholarships to agricultural students annually. Presque Isle, Maine, staff participate in Wreaths Across America.

Staff from the Cortland, NY, office judge the costume contest at the Cortland County Fair.

Scholarships to Support the Next Generation Farm Credit East provides various scholarships to support the education and development of the Northeast’s future agricultural leaders. Each year, Farm Credit East awards more than 30 scholarships to Northeast students in pursuit of a career in the agriculture, commercial fishing or forest products industries. Since 2016, we have also provided educator scholarships to teachers attending institutes offered by the Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE). CASE institutes prepare educators to teach students courses in the CASE curriculum, such as introduction to food and agriculture, plant and animal science. These courses are hands-on and based on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) principles. Additionally, they help provide students with the technical skills, critical thinking and problem solving to be the next generation of agriculture industry professionals. In 2017, Farm Credit East initiated a scholarship to award students involved in The National FFA Organization. These scholarships support students’ Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects and enhance their knowledge of agriculture.



A $100,000 joint contribution from Farm Credit East and CoBank helped establish a permanent location for the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences (MeANS) on the Good Will-Hinckley campus in Hinckley, Maine.




Farm Credit East is committed to research efforts that support the future of Northeast agriculture industries, including initiatives to foster students’ interests in agriculturally-related careers and the necessary curriculums to support those students’ development.

University to support a faculty fellowship focused on agricultural sustainability, including sustainable production practices and how agriculture can adapt to challenges posed by climate change. A portion of this contribution also funded student scholarships.

Recent efforts to support this commitment include a joint contribution with CoBank to support the Good Will Home Association (“Good Will-Hinckley”), a charitable organization based in Fairfield, Maine. Funds supported building renovations to ensure a permanent location for the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences (MeANS) on the Good Will-Hinckley campus. MeANS provides students a more active curriculum centered on agriculture, forestry and environmental studies. Farm Credit East also joined with CoBank and New York farmer Sheldon Brown on a contribution to Cornell

Other efforts include a joint contribution by Farm Credit East and CoBank to support a partnership between the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst to create an undergraduate hands-on Agricultural Learning Center. Additionally, Farm Credit East provided funds to support the building of a Viticulture Center at Finger Lakes Community College. Farm Credit East also supports the Farm Credit Fellows program. In collaboration with Cornell University, University of Connecticut, University of Maine,

University of New Hampshire and University of Vermont, the Farm Credit Fellows program offers college students a hands-on opportunity to learn about the lending process. The skills acquired through the program are relevant for students entering an ag-related business field, as well as for those returning to the farm after graduation with plans to become future farm business owners. Most recently, Farm Credit East, in coordination with the New Jersey Ag Leadership Foundation (a fund established by Farm Credit East’s Bridgeton, NJ, office in memory of former employee Joshua Geary), provided the funding to develop an ag business course for the Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE). This course is anticipated to be rolled out for ag educator certification for the start of the 2019/20 school year. SR

Farm Credit Northeast AgEnhancement Program A joint effort of Farm Credit East, Yankee Farm Credit and CoBank, the Farm Credit Northeast AgEnhancement Program provides financial support for a wide variety of projects that promote awareness and strengthen agriculture, commercial fishing and forest products in the six New England states, New York and New Jersey. Programs include those that help to develop young and beginning farmers; leadership development

programs; education and promotion programs to generate a greater understanding and appreciation of the industry; recognition programs; and research initiatives. Since its inception in 1996, the Farm Credit Northeast AgEnhancement Program has awarded more than two million dollars in grants to organizations across the Northeast.



Staff in Potsdam, NY, support the “cow-munity” with their dairy parade float.


SUPPORTING RURAL COMMUNITIES Farm Credit East staff live in the same communities we serve, so not only is getting involved in local events and causes important to them, but it’s also a fun way for staff to interact with each other, the community and the customers we serve, outside of the office. From building a parade float for the local dairy parade to serving as a judge at the county fair; from volunteering at a local food bank to actually picking the produce that is delivered to food pantries; from 5ks to mud runs to Relay For Life events; and everything in between — our staff don’t hesitate to jump in and help out. In Northern Maine, each August, Farm Credit East staff help United Way provide 8


children with locally sourced lunches as part of the organization’s Summer Gap Feeding Program. Staff spend the day cutting donated vegetables, such as potatoes and broccoli, and then help deliver the meals to various locations. “Our staff saw this as a unique opportunity to help provide locally sourced produce to those in need,” said Peter Hallowell, branch manager of Farm Credit East’s Presque Isle, Maine, office. In New Jersey, staff typically spend two days each summer getting their hands dirty — literally. Farm Credit East’s Flemington, NJ, office has developed a close relationship with America’s Grow-

a-Row, a Pittstown, NJ, farm that grows fruits and vegetables for food pantries and free markets across New Jersey. Despite rain, mud and the occasional peek of sun, staff look forward to this event each year. In 2017, together with a few other local businesses, the group picked 27,750 pounds of cabbage and 5,600 pounds of cucumbers and nectarines. “It feels really good to know that the fruit and vegetables we harvested will help to provide nutritious food to thousands of people across New Jersey who are faced with hunger and food insecurity,” said Patty Stover, branch operations leader from Farm Credit East’s Flemington, NJ, office.

Cooperstown, NY, staff participate in local mud run.

Presque Isle, Maine, staff volunteer with United Way’s Summer Gap Feeding Program.

Middletown, NY, staff participate in Relay for Life.

Additionally, a number of Farm Credit East offices hold annual golf tournaments and other fundraisers throughout the year. Funds raised from these events support various causes, including FFA, The Ronald McDonald House, American Cancer Society, Wounded Warrior Project and regional food banks. SR

Dayville, Conn., staff dressed up as their favorite farm products and animals for their community holiday parade. Farm Credit East’s Cortland, NY, staff fuel up with milk during the Cortland County Dairy Parade.

Farm Credit East Cares Giving Back to Rural Communities Farm Credit East Cares was created by a team of employees following multiple tragic weather events that swept across the region in 2011. The initiative was established as a way for the Farm Credit East family to work together to support Northeast farmers and rural communities impacted by natural disasters as well as to contribute to local, state and regional charitable causes. Initial seed funding was provided by Farm Credit East and CoBank, and today, the program is funded by Farm Credit East employees with matching support from Farm Credit East. In years where there are no major natural disasters, contributing employees determine the charities to receive their voluntary contributions. Since inception, Farm Credit East Cares has contributed more than $500,000 to farm families and organizations impacted by disasters; to various Northeast charitable organizations; and to local, regional or state not-for-profit charitable organizations focused on youth involvement in agriculture or local agricultural promotion.



Staff from Farm Credit East’s Cortland, NY, office help to break down the New York Animal Agriculture Coalition’s Dairy Birthing Center exhibit at the New York State Fair.



Educating the consumers our customers serve is important to Farm Credit East. As such, we support efforts that educate rural and urban consumers alike about the importance of agriculture here in the Northeast. Knowledgeable consumers who support agriculture are essential for the long-term strength of the Northeast agricultural, forest products and commercial fishing industries. One event we’ve been proud to support since inception is the Dairy Birthing Center, hosted by the New York Animal Agriculture Coalition (NYAAC) at the New York State Fair. This popular exhibit attracts more than a quarter million fairgoers annually. One of the center’s goals is to explain modern farm practices. In addition to the financial support Farm Credit East has provided to help develop this exhibit, staff members from various offices volunteer their

time to share their expertise and passion for the dairy industry. Supporting efforts to connect rural and urban areas throughout the Northeast is also important to Farm Credit East. While some of these efforts are educational in nature, others aim to provide healthy, fresh food access to underserved populations, thereby extending Northeast producers’ reach into the various urban markets across the Northeast. In 2017, Farm Credit East joined with CoBank to support GrowNYC Greenmarket Co.’s programs, such as the Fresh Food Box program initiative that allows underserved communities to purchase regionally grown produce below traditional retail prices. About two-thirds of Greenmarket Co.’s sales are to wholesale and institutional customers that serve lower to middle income consumers,

including non-profits, food programs and schools. In 2018, Farm Credit East again joined with CoBank in making a financial contribution to GrowNYC’s FARMroots program. In addition to monetary support, our staff often volunteer at local food banks or glean produce as part of Farm Credit East’s stewardship mission to support organizations and efforts that increase access to healthy food options for food insecure populations. Additionally, over the past six years, Farm Credit East Cares employee contributions have resulted in more than $80,000 in donations to several local food pantries and regional food banks to support food insecure families in both rural and urban areas.




AUBURN, ME David Bishop, Manager 615 Minot Avenue Auburn, ME 04210-4052 800.831.4230 / 207.784.0193

COOPERSTOWN, NY Rob Yurkewecz, Manager 7397 State Highway 80 Cooperstown, NY 13326-3307 800.762.3276 / 607.282.3002

GENEVA, NY Stephen Tudhope, Manager 1450 Route 14 Phelps, NY 14532-9542 800.929.7102 / 315.781.7100

POTSDAM, NY Mike Haycook, Manager One Pioneer Drive Potsdam, NY 13676-3273 800.295.8431 / 315.265.8452

BATAVIA, NY Ed Urbanik, Manager 4363 Federal Drive Batavia, NY 14020-4105 800.929.1350 / 585.815.1900

CORTLAND, NY Jean Gallagher, Manager One Technology Place, Suite 2 Homer, NY 13077-1526 800.392.3276 / 607.749.7177

GREENWICH, NY Chris Truso, Manager 394 State Route 29 Greenwich, NY 12834-2650 800.234.0269 / 518.692.0269

PRESQUE ISLE, ME Peter Hallowell, Manager 26 Rice Street Presque Isle, ME 04769-2265 800.831.4640 / 207.764.6431

BEDFORD, NH David Bishop, Manager 2 Constitution Drive Bedford, NH 03110-6010 800.825.3252 / 603.472.3554

COUNTRY LIVING Ted Black, Director 7397 State Highway 80 Cooperstown, NY 13326-3307 800.762.3276 / 607.282.3002

HORNELL, NY Patrick Coates, Manager 1155 Airport Road Hornell, NY 14843-9144 800.929.2025 / 607.324.2020

RIVERHEAD, NY Keith Stechschulte, Manager 1281 Route 58 Riverhead, NY 11901-2097 800.890.3028 / 631.727.2188

BRIDGETON, NJ Scott Andersen, Manager 29 Landis Avenue Bridgeton, NJ 08302-4396 800.219.9179 / 856.451.0933

DAYVILLE, CT Lynn Weaver, Manager 785 Hartford Pike Dayville, CT 06241-1739 800.327.6785 / 860.774.0717

MAYVILLE, NY Jenny Montalbano, Manager 28 E. Chautauqua Street Mayville, NY 14757-0163 800.929.2144 / 716.753.2144

BURRVILLE, NY Kathryn Canzonier, Manager 25417 NY Route 12 Watertown, NY 13601-5730 800.626.3276 / 315.782.6050

ENFIELD, CT Keith Stechschulte, Manager 240 South Road Enfield, CT 06082-4451 800.562.2235 / 860.741.4380

MIDDLEBORO, MA Cynthia Stiglitz, Manager 67 Bedford Street Middleboro, MA 02346-0720 800.946.0506 / 508.946.4455

CLAVERACK, NY Tim Slavin, Manager 190 State Route 9H Hudson, NY 12534-3819 800.362.4404 / 518.851.3313

FLEMINGTON, NJ Steve Makarevich, Manager 9 County Road 618 Lebanon, NJ 08833-3028 800.787.3276 / 908.782.5215

MIDDLETOWN, NY Blane Allen, Manager 669 East Main Street Middletown, NY 10940-2640 888.792.3276 / 845.343.1802

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