T. Edward “Ed” Lippi, a well-known Carroll County farmer whose company owned and leased 10,000 acres, died Dec. 3 at his home in Hempstead of complications from old age. He was 93.
Born Thomas Edward Lippey on the Hampstead family dairy farm, he was the son of Ruth and Wallace Lippey. He graduated from Hempstead High School and then earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from the University of Maryland, College Park. He worked on the family farm since childhood.
Mr. Lippi returned to the farm and was soon joined by his brothers Joe and Wilson. Together they formed a farming partnership.
Mr. Lippi met his future wife, Marjorie Ann Clapper, at an Arcadia Fire Hall social event.
According to a family obituary, the brothers had a financial strategy. For nearly a decade, they lived off their wives’ salaries — Mr. Lippi’s wife was an elementary school teacher and media specialist — while the Lippi brothers plowed most of the farm’s income back into the business.
“Hard work was his way of life,” said Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Joseph Bartenfelder.
The brothers began buying other farms and in 1955 began leasing land. They started the business in 1965 as Lippy Brothers Inc. entered to allow their youngest brother, Donald, to become an equal partner.
Now Lippy Brothers Farms, a statutory trust, it is a Hampstead-based agribusiness with over two dozen employees.
A large agricultural operation, Lippi Farms produces corn, soybeans, wheat, barley and green beans on about 10,000 acres in Maryland and Pennsylvania.
My father was open, kind and interested in others. He had a generous nature, said his son, Todd Lippi. He appreciated the subtleties of life and loved to tell jokes. He often began one by saying, “I want to tell you a story.”
“He changed a lot of people’s lives, that’s a fact that came to mind when I talked to those who visited him,” said his daughter, Meg Galetti.
Lippi’s organization also operates Sunnyside Farms, an egg production facility in Westminster.
In 1994, the government of Puerto Rico invited the Lippy Brothers to farm 800 hectares of irrigated land on the island to produce alternative crops for sugarcane.
Mr. Lippi and His wife bought a house in Palmas del Mar and for a decade oversaw a farm in south-central Puerto Rico. He experimented with a number of crops, eventually growing field corn and sorghum as silage for local livestock.
Mr. Lippi and his wife developed good relationships with a number of farmers and their families, his son said.
Mr. Lippi was the director of Hanover Foods Corp. from 1994 to 2021.
He also served as director of the Farm Credit Council in Washington, DC From 1993 to 1997
Mr. Lippi was also president of the Farmers and Merchants Bank in Fablesburg for four years and was one of its directors for 54 years.
James R. “You can’t talk about the history of Farmers & Merchants Bank without talking about Ed Lippi,” said Bosley Jr., the bank’s chief executive. “I think it was Ed particle for direct object Farmer in Farmers and Traders.
He helped grow the bank’s total assets from $1.6 million when he joined the board in 1964 to $436 million in total assets at the time of his retirement in 2018. He helped guide the bank’s profits as stockholders’ equity increased from $152,000 to approx. 48 million dollars during his tenure. He was as hardworking, honest, reliable and loyal as a man.
Mr. Lippi served on the Board of Directors of the Maryland Agricultural Resources Council from 2008 to 2014.
In 1996, he received the Distinguished Alumni Meritorious Service Award from the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
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He was a past superintendent of the Wesleyan United Methodist Church Sunday School and president of the Hampstead Rotary Club. He was the club’s outstanding citizen in 1993.
He was appointed to the Carroll County School Board in 1971 and re-elected in 1978 and 1984. He was the chairman or vice chairman of the board of directors on ten occasions.
He was featured in a Farm Credit publication and quoted as saying, “Everyone owes a debt to society that must be repaid. “If you have the opportunity to serve organizations that are important to you and something happens, then you have an obligation to do it and give something back,” Mr. Lippi said.
He was a licensed pilot and flew a piper cub to observe his fields. Her son described her as “an incredible florist and a talented woodcarver”. He liked to mix unusual plants like milkweed with more traditional perennials.
“He had a beautiful tenor voice and as a boy, he was bussed from Carroll County to study at the Peabody Conservatory,” son Todd said.
Survivors include a daughter, Meg Galetti of Ewing Mills; a son, Todd Lippi of Brooklyn, NY; a brother, Donald E. Lippi of Hampstead. And a grandson, his 63-year-old wife died in 2020.
A celebration of life service will be held in the future.