Dr. Tesfaye Tesso

Tesfaye Tesso, PhD

Sorghum Breeding & Genetics

3007 Throckmorton PSC
1712 Claflin St
Manhattan, KS 66506

Ph: 785-532-7238

Email Dr. Tesso

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

I was born to small-holder farming family in rural western Ethiopia, completed elementary and secondary education at local community schools. I had to travel 45 kilometers away to attend freshman high school and sophomore, and then contemplate how to make it to travel 60 kilometers farther to complete high school. Fortunately, junior and senior grade high schools were added at the current school just in time before in completed my sophomore year thwarting the likely risk of quitting from 10th grade.

Upon graduation from high school, I was assigned to one of the only three universities in the country at the time, Haramaya University of Agriculture, that was established with the support from the United States Government through the then USAID Point Four program. After graduation, I was retained by the same university and assigned to work in the National Tef Improvement Program at Debre Zeit Experiment Station.

I first came to United States in June 1998 as International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Fellow to train on tissue culture at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in Dr. Bob Conger's lab. While at UT, I was recruited as Graduate Research Assistant by Kansas State University to work towards my PhD in Sorghum Breeding under Dr. Mitch Tuinstra. I started my program at K-State in January 1999 and completed in July 2002. After one year of Post Doc at Purdue University under Drs. Gebisa Ejeta and Bruce Hamaker, I moved back to Ethiopia where I led the National Sorghum Improvement Program for the next five years. I returned to KSU in June 2008 to take up the position of Assistant Professor in sorghum Breeding and Genetics.


My program is interested in the improvement of grain sorghum as alternative source of food and feed. We strive to develop novel sorghum germplasm and hybrids to enhance productivity and competitiveness of the sorghum industry. Our program is supported by grower community, hence, our priority is to empower growers by developing technologies that enhance production and productivity across the sorghum belt. We also serve the sorghum industry through developing and releasing elite germplasm enhanced for priority traits. The major focuses of the program include development of high yielding hybrids adapted to major sorghum growing environments, resistance based weed control technology and development and release of high protein germplasm and hybrids to increase food and feed value of the crop.