Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives
Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives

John Lombardi, Jr.
Retired Farmer and Retired Farm Credit Director

Waterford, Connecticut
Farm Credit Affiliation
Farm Credit East
John's Perspective

John Lombardi, Jr. grew up on a small poultry farm in southeastern Connecticut and went into farming himself at an early age. By the mid-1990s, John and a former high school classmate had expanded his operation, Southern New England Eggs, into a diversified operation included a regional feed mill, a 1.1-million bird laying operation, a team of contract growers, and an egg distribution network. Among other business accomplishments, John was instrumental in the development of the Eggland’s Best brand, differentiating his eggs from the standard commodity market.

John began financing with Farm Credit in 1960, and as his business grew, so did his relationship with Farm Credit. He was elected by his fellow cooperative members as a director to the Southern New England Farm Credit board from 1975-1984, and to the First Pioneer Farm Credit board from 1991-2006, where he served as board chairman from 1995-2004.

“In my business as well as my involvement with First Pioneer Farm Credit, I have been passionate about promoting efficiency and setting goals to enhance the industry,” says John. “I was fortunate enough to be a member of the Farm Credit boards for approximately 24 years, and worked to create a strong financial institution that understood and supported the farming industry.”

As chairman, John oversaw the consolidation of four associations into one innovative cooperative. His visionary leadership helped set the foundation for today’s Farm Credit East, which is a $5.9 billion lending cooperative serving farmer-members throughout the northeast.

During his tenure at First Pioneer, John was also a steadfast supporter of the financial services side of the business, encouraging expanded consulting and financial services. As chairman, he had a commitment to helping the farmers of the northeast to diversify and take the next steps towards growing their operations. He was an early proponent of the Young, Beginning and Small Farmer program, as he recognized the challenges for young and beginning farmers.

“While the agricultural industry has evolved, the farmers that have prospered are very efficient and have developed skills and products that are second to none,” says John. “I continue to support Farm Credit’s involvement with our farmers and have the utmost respect for this institution. Just as Farm Credit continues to do, we must all support the American farming industry.”

John retired from his agricultural business involvements in the early 2000s. Since then, he has continued his service to the community as Chairman of the Board of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, where he helps to strengthen local businesses and spotlight an often overlooked area of the state. He also owns and manages an excavation, sand and gravel manufacturing operation.

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