Batzaya Tsegmid

Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow, Class of 2021-22

  • Home country: Mongolia
  • College and degree: Master of Science, Mongolian Agriculture State University
  • Current career: Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at the Mongolian Farmers Association for Rural Development 
  • Specialization: Agriculture and rural development
  • Emailtb435 [at] (tb435[at]cornell[dot]edu)

What is the most memorable or impactful experience of your career so far? 

I have more than 20 years of work experience in the agriculture field and have worked with farmers to address the food security needs of Mongolia by developing inclusive and sustainable vegetable farming. I played a significant role in the establishment of a potato seed multiplication scheme, allowing Mongolia to reach self-sufficiency in potato production within 10 years, with domestic vegetables making up for 60% of total consumption.

What are the big challenges you want to tackle in your country?

The vegetable farmer communities are responsible for the nutritional security of the country by supplying diversified vegetables. However, the agriculture or vegetable marketing system has not been established yet as fair-trade marketing in Mongolia. Fair-trade marketing may challenge the farmers and public and private sectors, who are the main players in this sector. Well-managed marketing of vegetables by multiple market players will improve the effectiveness of the system. Farmers will be encouraged to increase their production, and with a better organization, have improved access to the market through collective action. 

How do you think your Humphrey Fellowship and your time at Cornell will help boost your career?

My professional goal is to become a recognized expert in agricultural and rural development in Mongolia. My focus in the Humphrey Fellowship program will be sustainable development with a focus on agriculture and rural development, including seminars on extension management, agricultural marketing and value-chain management. That way, after my program I would have the necessary expertise to implement the wholesale market model in Mongolia, as well as sustainably manage the extension centers in Mongolia. My role will be in helping farmers organization develop their own strategies for sustainable development. With my newly gained academic expertise and practical experience offered by the Humphrey Program, I plan to dedicate myself to bring MFARD at the regional level as a leading knowledge expert in the agricultural sector in the Asia-Pacific region.

What does public service mean to you?

To me, public service means that helping or supporting others by doing my best, both personal and professional, to make a positive change in people's lives and create well-being and a better society. For example, I try to donate to crowdfunding campaigns every month, and I also urge my friends and colleagues to join in as well. The number of cancer patients in Mongolia always breaks my heart. There are many factors behind it, but I believe that food safety and vegetable-rich diets will make a positive change. This makes working in this sector more meaningful.

Tell us a fun fact about you. 

I like hiking and currently enjoy practicing yoga. I am also thinking of starting to jog. In addition, I like making friends and enjoy spending my spare time with them. 

What would be your personal motto? 

Mistakes are often the greatest teachers.

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