UNH Extension professor and specialist Mike Sciabarrasi received the Stephen H. Taylor Leadership Award for Agriculture Professionals at the New Hampshire Farm & Forest Exposition annual awards ceremony January 23, 2016. The award “recognizes an individual or business/organization currently working in the field of agriculture exemplifying leadership in the field of agriculture and consumer awareness and education regarding agriculture and agricultural issues.” Governor Maggie Hassan and N.H. Department of Agriculture Commissioner Lorraine Merrill presented the award.
“I was very honored to receive the award,” Sciabarrasi said. “I am thankful to the folks who nominated me and to the Farm and Forest board of directors.”
Mike’s colleagues, including Amy Ouellette, Seth Wilner, and Nada Haddad, wrote the following tribute, which was read aloud during the ceremony:
“Mike joined UNH Cooperative Extension in 1980 as a professor/specialist in agricultural business management. His responsibilities statewide planning, coordinating and delivering programs in agricultural business management, family business management and tax management, and estate planning for natural resource firms.
Mike holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Science from the University of Massachusetts and a Master of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
With over 35 years of experience, Mike brings knowledge, a broad set of skills and sensitivity to his work—and has become a trusted and valued advisor to colleagues and to countless New Hampshire farm families. Mike has contributed to the growth and longevity of farm businesses by heling to facilitate intergenerational succession and transfers, and advising families in planning and expansion and new enterprises.
Mike provides technical advice and is a valued partner for other agricultural agencies and organizations—including Farm Credit East and Yankee Farm Credit, the USDA Farm Service Agency, the Current Use Board, the Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food, and more. He is a valued participant in the N.H. Ag Financiers Group, whose members are dedicated to increasing and strengthening business and financial education opportunities for farmers and other agricultural businesses, and their access to credit and financial services. He was recognized in 2006 with the UNH Presidential Award of Excellence.
Mike is an accomplished leader. Some of his recent leadership roles include the Agriculture and Natural Resources Business Institute; Risk Management Program; and Extension’s Agricultural Business Management Work Team. His energy and work ethic amaze his co-workers. He continuously updates his knowledge in complicated subjects such as farm taxation and labor management and patiently helps others understand these difficult topics and issues. Michael Sciabarrasi embodies the spirit of the Stephen H. Taylor Leadership Award.”
Prior recipients from UNH Cooperative Extension include George Hamilton (2014) and John C. Porter (2013).
Photo, left to right: Governor Maggie Hassan, Mike Sciabarrasi, Gail Sciabarrasi, and Lorraine Merrill, N.H. Dept. of Agriculture, Markets & Food (Credit: Holly Young)