Explore, Dream, Discover

Christopher Bateman | Agricultural Science

Class of 2024 | National Director of IAAS USA

Participant in IAAS World Conference in Mexico | Participant in UNFCCC COP 28 in Dubai

Cultivating Change Globally

I'm Christopher Sawyer Bateman, and I'm passionate about agriculture, global farming practices, and sustainable food systems. Exploring different cultures, traveling, and engaging with communities worldwide fuels my curiosity. Advocating for environmental sustainability and social justice, particularly within the agricultural sector, is what drives me. 

Yakking Up Innovation

I was inspired to pursue horticulture and agricultural sciences after experiencing farming during my time on a yak farm in Oregon. My work aims to revolutionize agricultural practices, promoting sustainability, equity, and resilience in food systems, which could significantly impact society's ability to address food security and environmental challenges in later years. 

Globetrotting Green Growth

My journey has taken me across the globe, from yak farming in Oregon to studying agroecology in the Netherlands and engaging with agricultural communities in Bangladesh and beyond. The most valuable part of these experiences has been the opportunity to learn from diverse farming practices and cultures, gaining insights into global food systems. Witnessing the resilience and ingenuity of farmers in different parts of the world has been incredibly interesting. Exploring new landscapes, trying local cuisines, and building connections with fellow agriculturalists has been the most fun. 

Seeding Skills Sustainably

Throughout my time in the College of Ag Sciences, I actively sought out opportunities to gain hands-on experience that would provide different skills for my future career in agriculture. One avenue I pursued was through volunteering with the Organic Grower's Club, where I had the chance to work on a beautiful organic certified farm alongside other passionate student. This experience allowed me to immerse myself in the day-to-day operations of sustainable farming, from planting crops and weeding beds to participating in shared potluck meals and building connections within the agriculture community at Oregon State University. 

Research Success

I also engaged in research opportunities within the college, such as working in entomology labs. These experiences provided me with exposure to field and lab protocols, insect identification, and experimental design, culminating in my first academic publication. Not only did these research experiences enhance my understanding of agricultural science, but they also equipped me with practical skills that will be necessary in my future endeavors in agricultural research, extension, and consultation. 

Overcoming Obstacles

I've faced challenges such as financial constraints, academic setbacks, and navigating unfamiliar environments during my educational journey. I addressed these challenges by seeking support from mentors, taking on diverse opportunities for experiential learning, and maintaining resilience and determination in pursuing my goals. 

Greener Pastures

A defining moment for me was my decision to leave behind my familiar surroundings in Detroit and embark on a journey of exploration and self-discovery. This decision opened new possibilities and ignited my passion for agriculture, leading me down a path towards a career dedicated to sustainable food systems and global farming practices.  

Seize, Sow, and Grow

As an incoming student, my advice would be to embrace every opportunity for learning, growth, and exploration that comes your way. Be proactive in seeking out experiences. Don't wait for opportunities to come to you; actively seek out internships, research opportunities, volunteer positions, and networking events that align with your interests and career goals. These hands-on experiences will not only enhance your education but also provide valuable insights into the industry and help you build a strong professional network. Networking is essential in any profession, and agriculture is no exception. Take the time to build relationships with professors, industry professionals, fellow students, and alumni. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and stay connected with your peers and mentors. These connections can provide valuable guidance, support, and opportunities throughout your career.  

Your Own Destiny

In a rapidly evolving field like agriculture, it's important to stay true to your passions, values, and interests. Don't be afraid to pursue unconventional paths or advocate for causes you believe in. Your unique perspective and contributions can make a meaningful impact on industry and the world. Looking back on my own journey, I wish someone had told me to trust in my own abilities and instincts, and to be open to unexpected opportunities that may arise along the way. Don't be afraid to take chances, follow your passions, and carve out your own path in the world of agriculture. With dedication, resilience, and a willingness to learn, the possibilities are endless.