T. Edward “Ed” Lippy, a well-known Carroll County farmer whose company owned and leased 10,000 acres, died of age-related complications Dec. 3 at his Hampstead home. He was 93.
Born Thomas Edward Lippy on the family’s Hampstead dairy farm, he was the son of Ruth and Wallace Lippy. He graduated from Hampstead High School and then earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from the University of Maryland, College Park. He had worked on the family farm since he was a boy.
Mr. Lippy returned to the farm and was soon joined by his brothers, Joe and Wilson. Together they established a farming partnership.
Mr. Lippy met his future wife Marjorie Ann Klepper 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. Lippy’s wife was an elementary school teacher and media specialist — while the Libby brothers put the majority of the farm revenue back into the business.
“Hard work was his way of life,” said Maryland Agriculture Secretary Joseph Bartenfelder.
The brothers began acquiring other farms and started leasing land in 1955. They incorporated the business in 1965 as Lippy Brothers Inc. to allow their youngest brother, Donald, to become an equal partner.
The company, now Lippy Brothers Farms, a statutory trust, is an agribusiness enterprise with more than two dozen employees based in Hampstead.
A large farming operation, the Lippy farms produce corn, soybeans, wheat, barley and green beans on approximately 10,000 acres in Maryland and Pennsylvania.
“My father was open, kind and interested in others. He had a generous nature,” said his son, Tod Lippy. “He appreciated the subtilties of life and loved to tell jokes. He would often start one by saying, ‘I want to tell you a story.’”
His daughter, Meg Galletti, said, “He changed so many peoples’ lives, a fact I was remined of when talking to those at his visitation.”
The Lippy organization also operates Sunnyside Farms, an egg production facility in Westminster.
In 1994, the Puerto Rican government invited Lippy Brothers to farm 800 acres of irrigated land on the island in an effort to produce alternative crops to sugarcane.
Mr. Lippy and his wife bought a home at Palmas del Mar, and for a decade supervised the farm located in central southern Puerto Rico. He experimented with a number of crops and ultimately cultivated field corn and sorghum as silage for local livestock.
Mr. Lippy and his wife made good relationships with a number of farmers and their families, his son said.
Mr. Lippy was a director of Hanover Foods Corp. from 1994 to 2021. He was a director and a chair of the Baltimore Farm Credit Bank, now known as Agfirst Farm Credit Bank.
He also served as a director of the Farm Credit Council in Washington, D.C. from 1993 to 1997.
Mr. Lippy also was chair of the Farmers and Merchants Bank in Fowblesburg for four years and was one of its directors for 54 years.
“You can’t talk about the history of the Farmers and Merchants Bank without talking about Ed Lippy,” said James R. Bosley Jr., the bank’s chief executive officer. “I think Ed was the farmer in Farmers and Merchants.
“He contributed to the growth of the bank from $1.6 million in total assets when he joined the board in 1964 to $436 million in total assets when he retired in 2018. He helped direct the profitability of the bank as stockholder equity grew from $152,000 to almost $48 million during his tenure. He was as hardworking, honest, dependable and loyal as a man can be,” Mr. Bosley said.
Mr. Lippy served on the board of the Maryland Agricultural Resource Council from 2008 to 2014.
He received the 1996 outstanding alumnus 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 Wesley United Methodist Church Sunday School and a chairman of the Hampstead Rotary Club. He was the club’s 1993 outstanding citizen.
He was appointed to the Carroll County School Board in 1971, and was elected again in 1978 and 1984. He was a president or vice president of the board on ten occasions.
He was profiled and quoted in a Farm Credit publication: “Everyone owes a debt to society that needs to be repaid. If you have the opportunity to serve and make something happen to the organizations that are important to you, then you have an obligation to do so and give something back,” Mr. Lippy said.
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He was a licensed pilot and flew a Piper Cub to observe his farms. His son described him as “an incredible flower arranger and a talented woodcarver.” He liked to combine unusual plants, such as milkweed with more traditional perennials.
“He had a beautiful tenor voice and as a boy, he took a bus from Carroll County to study at the Peabody Conservatory,” said son Tod said.
Survivors include a daughter, Meg Galletti of Owings Mills; a son, Tod Lippy of Brooklyn, New York; a brother, Donald E. Lippy of Hampstead; and a grandson. His wife of 63 years died in 2020.
A celebration of life service will be held in the future.