Dr. Craig Yencho
Dr. Yencho is a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at NC State University. He leads the Sweetpotato and Potato Breeding and Genetics programs and has over 30 years of experience in plant breeding. The NC State sweetpotato breeding program is focused on the development of table-stock, processing, ornamental and industrial sweetpotatoes, while the potato program breeds table-stock and processing varieties adapted to the hot, humid southeastern US.
Dr. Yencho’s research efforts are focused on use of genomic-assisted breeding strategies for important traits in potato and sweetpotato; improved phenotyping technologies; the development of value-added and bio-based products including fries, chips, and natural colorants from both crops; the development of ornamental sweetpotatoes for the ornamental plant trades; and farmer participatory breeding and international agriculture, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa. His program is funded by a combination of state and federal agencies, domestic and international NGO’s, commodity associations, private industry partners, and plant royalty revenues.