New CAFNR dean motivated by passion to serve and desire to put goals into action

If you take a look around CAFNR Dean Christopher Daubert’s office, you’ll notice the organized chaos of work, a living example of the quote, “It’s not about what you say, but what you do.”

He enjoys putting goals into action as he lives a life of service to those around him.

Daubert grew up with a dad who was a band teacher and always quoted expressions such as: “slow and steady wins the race,” and “you won’t hit a home run every time.”  These nuggets of wisdom provided him with the motivation to keep steady in the face of challenges — a lesson that Daubert keeps with him today.

“He’s very driven, by looking at his schedule,” said Scott Brown, the director of strategic partnerships at CAFNR, who works with Daubert often. He describes Daubert as a busy man who makes the most of his day.

Daubert grew up with six brothers and sisters in south central Pennsylvania. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a degree in agriculture engineering and then went on to Michigan State University to pursue his doctorate in agriculture engineering and food science.

“Agriculture engineering was a perfect fit to combine all the things I loved,” Daubert said. “I was looking for a balance between a passion for agriculture and at the same time, allowing me to play the mechanical side of my personality.”

This passion was further developed through his love for chocolate. Growing up near Hershey, Pennsylvania, Daubert worked at Hershey Foods Corporation throughout college as a processing engineer. It was his work experience that allowed him to understand what he wanted to do.

Just last year, Daubert and his family moved from Raleigh, North Carolina, to Columbia, Missouri, when he became the Vice Chancellor for Agriculture and Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

His passion for serving people is one of the opportunities he looked for when considering making the move to MU.

“It’s an opportunity to lead a major agricultural institution to best serve the rural communities of Missouri, because agriculture is a key to making sure we are creating paths of opportunity for all people throughout Missouri,” Daubert said.

Daubert’s number one focus at Mizzou is students.

“His mantra since he has arrived a little over a year ago has been that students are number one,” said Teresa Davis, Daubert’s senior executive assistant.  

He spends the majority of his day in meetings with stakeholders including faculty, staff, legislators, and commodity organizations, but his number one stakeholder is the student body.

“We have huge challenges facing our globe and I’m not going to be the one to solve those — you are,” said Daubert. “Addressing and feeding our global population as it explodes is going to be on you. I get excited in passing knowledge down and educating the future; we have great students, they’re going to solve those problems.”

When asked to describe his leadership style, Daubert responded by listing traits such as patience and compassion when solving problems and working with other people. This is an approach to life similar to the lessons of slow and steady wins the race, that his dad taught him.

Madelyn Derks

About the Author Madelyn Derks

Bouncing around in the farm truck checking cows with my dad was one of my favorite memories as a little girl. From picking out my first cow to showing Boer goats with my brothers, agriculture has been an essential part of my family’s life. Growing up on a commercial Angus cow-calf operation in King City, Missouri, I have always felt a passion for the agriculture industry. My involvement within the industry inspired me to pursue my passion for advocating for farmers. Hello, my name is Madelyn Derks and I am an agribusiness management major with a minor in agriculture communications at the University of Missouri. After finishing my degree, I plan to work for an agriculture commodity group in public relations and promotion. This goal was jump started when I began competing in public speaking contests in the FFA and 4-H organizations. Throughout high school, FFA helped develop the leadership skills and soft skills that I use every day and will need in my career.