In memoriam: Hank Sciaroni
Sciaroni, who served UCCE as a farm advisor and director for close to 40 years, was instrumental in establishing UC Cooperative Extension in San Mateo and San Francisco counties.
“Hank will be missed by many but his legacy and work will live on for generations to come,” said Wei-Ting Chen, co-director for UCCE San Mateo-San Francisco counties and nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor.
A few of his notable accomplishments include starting the 4-H Youth Program in San Mateo and San Francisco counties, expanding the food and nutrition programs with an emphasis on serving minorities and low-income groups, and coordinating the donation of Elkus Ranch to the University of California. Active in the community, Sciaroni served on numerous agricultural and land-use committees and boards. He also authored and co-authored many publications for nursery crop production and agricultural crops.
After retiring from UC in 1986, he became a consultant for Nurserymen's Exchange in Half Moon Bay.
He earned his bachelor's degree in 1947 from UC Davis and received the Alumni Citation for Excellence in 1988 from the California Aggie Alumni Association.
Virginia Bolshakova, former UCCE director in San Mateo and San Francisco counties, described Sciaroni as “Always a humble servant with an eternal flame for justice and sharp intellect for his fields of agriculture and politics!”
While planning a UCCE centennial event in 2014, Bolshakova interviewed Sciaroni about his career and made a 16-minute video that she showed during the UCCE centennial event at Elkus Ranch in 2014: https://youtu.be/rAYmY66CGM8.
“Hank is a true hero!!” Bolshakova, now a professor at Purdue, wrote in an email. “I met with Hank and Dorris on a few occasions as he was an incredible mentor and advisor, even at 90! Elkus Ranch, San Francisco, the 4-H Farms, hiring one of the first African American advisors in the UC System, and the legacy of San Mateo/Coastside Ag can all be attributed to Hank's leadership with an amazing team of visionaries, givers and doers!"