Regional Councillor South America

Dr Clair HersheyClair Hershey
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Dr Clair Hershey is a plant breeder and served as cassava breeder at CIAT for 13 years. He developed a comprehensive program that included management of the field germplasm collection, pre-breeding to extract new traits of value from the genebank, and selection with national program partners in Latin America and Asia. The program emphasized pest and disease resistance, high stable yields, good quality, and adaptation in difficult soil and climate environments, where most cassava is produced by small land-holders. The germplasm derived from this program continues to expand in area planted by farmers and as a resource for other breeders.

Clair spent 15 years managing a diversified family farm with his brothers in the US, before joining FAO in 2009 and 2010 as a plant breeder in the Global Partnership Initiative for Plant Breeding Capacity Building (GIPB). Since 2001 he has been editor of Plant Breeding News, a widely read electronic newsletter of applied plant breeding.