Coös County Food and Agriculture Field Specialist Steve Turaj retired from UNH Extension on Nov. 30, capping a 30-year career in Granite State agriculture.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree in agricultural science from the University of Connecticut, Turaj served in the United States Army as an officer in the Corps of Engineers. Following his time in the Army, he obtained a master’s degree in agriculture from West Virginia University and pursued a career in agriculture. He began at West Virginia University as a graduate assistant and continued as a county supervisor for the Farmer’s Home Administration in Lancaster, N.H. Turaj joined UNH Cooperative Extension in 1988 as an Extension Educator in Coös County.
During his time with Extension, Turaj provided valuable consultation and support to New Hampshire farms as a member of the Livestock, Forage and Dairy team. Turaj’s educational programing and work covered many topics including, but not limited to: rhubarb varieties, grain production for distilleries, exotic weeds, farm record keeping and prairie grasses.
Turaj is known to bring not only topical expertise but humor and humility to his work with the farming community. “I remember giving a talk up North, and checking with Steve about what would be the best way to go back home,” said Carl Majewski, Cheshire County Food and Agriculture Field Specialist. “He advised that I avoid Route 2 in Vermont, because there were a bunch of curves in the road, and ‘it gets a little moose-y at night.’”
Food and Agriculture Program Team Leader Amy Papineau said that Turaj was an important part of the Granite State's agricultural story. “Steve has impacted countless individuals over his 30 year career with Extension, both as a colleague and as an ag agent. His dedication to the agricultural community, his mentorship and his humor will be missed. We wish him the very best in his next adventures.”
While we work to refill the position of Coös County agriculture field specialist, Coös County residents seeking Extension's agricultural services may contact our InfoLine at 1-877-398-4769 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Above photo: Steve Turaj showing rhubarb trials.