CSU, Chico

Oke Iyeke, Agricultural Science and Education

Oke Iyeke, Agricultural Science and Education

“Stay far from timid. Only make moves when your heart is in it, and live the phrase, ‘sky’s the limit.’” Those words from recording artist Notorious B.I.G. have guided Oke Iyeke’s life and education as he strives to build relationships and leave positive impressions in all he does. The sophomore agricultural science and education major is known throughout the College of Agriculture for his charismatic presence and willingness to serve. 

Originally from Orange County, Oke Iyeke’s first encounter with agriculture took place his freshman year of high school. His Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter, Westminster FFA, allows students to watch over sows as a Supervised Agriculture Experience project. Iyeke jumped at the opportunity to learn about taking care of the sows and assisting them with farrowing. He raised a pig from his first litter and showed it, along with steers, at his county fair.

Iyeke broadened his agriculture experience by serving in a variety of leadership positions, most notably as a national delegate during the FFA national convention. “It’s pretty neat to be part of the FFA because even though we all come from different places, we’re all connected by this huge organization,” he said. “One day, I want to give students that opportunity and awe.”

Close relationships with his high school agriculture teachers motivated Iyeke to attend California State University, Chico and study agriculture education with the goal of one day becoming a high school agriculture teacher. At CSU, Chico, Iyeke has continued to seek out all opportunities. He serves as a member of the Collegiate FFA, helps coordinate the CSU, Chico/Butte College FFA Field Day, volunteers as an Agriculture Ambassador, and works at the University Farm’s beef and swine units for class credit. His calm demeanor allows him to thrive in almost any situation, from building community relationships and coordinating and judging contests with CFFA to being a self-proclaimed “right-hand man” in agriculture ambassadors. Iyeke’s experiences have enabled him to meet and befriend many figures in the College of Agriculture, including classmates, professors, and staff.

Iyeke credits many different figures in his life for helping him get where he is now. His agriculture advisors in high school, Brian Kim and Dave Eusantos, guided him to his current career aspirations, and CSU, Chico faculty Alyssa Schager and Brad Dodson have been solidifying his career path.

“Alyssa’s intro to agriculture education class put into perspective why I want to be here, allowing me to learn and dive into what it means to be an agriculture teacher,” Iyeke said.

Iyeke feels lucky to have Dr. Brad Dodson to advise him, admitting he seeks out Dodson’s expertise on a regular basis. Iyeke said, “He’s been one of those people to give me advice and get me going in the right direction any time I need it. The family atmosphere in the College of Agriculture is crucial, and as students we are lucky to have that.”

Iyeke says another huge influence on his career path has been his mother, Ana Iyeke, who has supported him regardless of whatever project he decided to get himself into.

Down the road, Iyeke wants to take his education and degree back to his roots of urban agriculture, and teach in the Southern Region FFA. Iyeke knows he can connect with students in urban areas, and wants to instill agriculture in a place where it may not be common.

Advice Iyeke offers to students pursuing their own personal goals is, “Take all the opportunities that are given to you. At the end of the day, you don’t want to look back and wish you would’ve taken the chance on something that only presented itself in that moment in time.”