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Connecticut Engineer Recognized as USDA Unsung Hero

Posted by Carolyn Miller, Visual Information Specialist on May 13, 2016 at 10:31 AM
NRCS Civil Engineering Technician Michael Rosado has designed nearly 40 different types of conservation practices in his 32 years with the agency.

NRCS Civil Engineering Technician Michael Rosado has designed nearly 40 different types of conservation practices in his 32 years with the agency.

Demonstrates Extraordinary Service to the Public
Dedicated to Fulfilling USDA’s Mission

When it comes to recognizing NRCS Civil Engineering Technician Michael Rosado as an Unsung Hero, all the boxes are checked. It’s a no-brainer. He’s an employee of the highest caliber. He loves what he does and isn’t shy about who knows it! He takes pride in his work, and will talk about the agency to anyone who will listen.

One can’t help but wonder if it was fate that in 1985―one year after Rosado began his career with what was then the Soil Conservation Service―the Unsung Hero Award Program was created. It’s as if they were fulfilling a prophecy.

Rosado was hired in 1984 and assigned to the State Office engineering staff. While his official title is civil engineering technician, he also performs a great deal of engineering and conservation planning work. Over the years, Rosado’s willingness to take on additional responsibilities has transformed his position making him Connecticut’s go-to guy. 

He has designed nearly 40 different types of conservation practices, including several 20’ to 50’ high flood control dams, urban flood channels, farm irrigation ponds, grass-lined waterways, and so much more. As part of his job, he’s assigned to projects being worked on throughout the state, earning him the nicknames Road Warrior and Outside Dog.

According to his co-workers, it’s not any one accomplishment that makes him a hero, but rather, his many positive qualities:

He’s a Penny Pincher. While on the construction site, his top priority is taxpayer dollars. Known as tough, but fair, he takes immediate charge of project quality and production. Again and again, his precision and innovation has saved the government money. Rosado also walks the walk by multi-tasking when he’s on a job site by performing additional tasks such as conducting surveys, and even producing cross sections on the hood of his vehicle. His drive for quality is infectious to both the construction crew and NRCS staff.

He’s a People Person. Rosado’s friendly and outgoing personality is a good fit for his job as he is oftentimes approached by curious citizens looking for an explanation of a project. As a kind of self-appointed ambassador for the agency, Rosado is only too happy to explain what is happening, how it came about, and what the outcome will be. Several times, agency leadership received letters from Connecticut residents letting them know how much they appreciated the time he took to help them understand what was going on in their neighborhood.

He’s Like Superman. Over the years, Rosado has fought through injuries both on and off the job: he survived a severe anaphylactic shock as a result of a bee sting while out in the field; walked away from a head-on car crash; and endured multiple back surgeries following a fall from a roof. Rosado’s perseverance and love for the job helps him work through the continuing pain. He simply will not quit.

He’s Just a Plain Nice Guy. After several years of being retired, Rosado’s former mentor was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Without hesitation, Mike jumped in to help with moral support, physical care, and enviable friendship. He did the same for another co-worker when his liver suddenly failed and his only family lived across the country. That same compassion for others led him to pitch in to help build a ramp when a co-worker’s fiancée, diagnosed with ALS, became wheelchair bound.

Of his personal life, Rosado says his greatest achievement is his 15-year-old daughter, Misha. Evidently that apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as she works alongside him as an Earth Team volunteer.

And for all of those reasons, and probably more…last week, 32 years almost to the day he became a USDA employee, Michael Rosado was ushered in as a member of USDA’s Unsung Hero Class of 2016.

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Tags: employee, Connecticut

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