Lipman, North America’s largest field tomato grower, was recently named 2012 Agribusiness Partner of the Year by Collier County Public Schools (CCPS). This Florida Exemplary Migrant Education Award is given to the agribusiness company that best supports the migrant community through philanthropy and other programs geared to assist farm workers and their families.
“Lipman is more than an agribusiness partner – the company is a community partner,” said Oscar Olguin, migrant coordinator for CCPS. “They not only provide migrant farm workers with jobs, but also donate time and resources to support educational programs – making them one of the most valuable agribusiness partners in our area.”
The company was recognized for its contributions to the community and dedication to improving and expanding educational opportunities. In the past year, Lipman provided $50,000 to the Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RMCA) and $10,000 to the Guadalupe Center, plus awarded $30,000 in scholarships to 15 Immokalee High School (IHS) graduates. These donations are part of larger partnerships as well. Since 2005, Lipman has given more than $350,000 to RMCA, $100,000 to the Guadalupe Center to fund its library and more than 100 IHS students have received scholarships.
In addition to financial contributions, Lipman supports the migrant community in other ways. The company donated a building on its Naples farm to RMCA for a daycare facility; hosted the Second Annual Homerun Harvest, which collected funds to purchase more than 500 backpacks and school supplies for Immokalee children; and hosted a free health screening for more than 350 of its employees.
“Much of our labor force is comprised of migrant workers — and they are important to our company,” said Jaime Weisinger, director of community and government relations for Lipman. “Because of that, we try to support organizations that help our employees and their children.”