Tamrat Degefa specializes in gynecology and veterinary medicine, specifically where it concerns dairy research. The purpose of his research is to support animal breeders by researching embryonic transferring as a viable breeding technology in Ethiopia. He is particularly interested in improving the reproductive performance of Boran cattle by characterizing their ovarian dynamics. Mr. Degefa believes his research will be immensely helpful to cattle breeders in Ethiopia due to the nation’s large quantity of livestock, but relatively low labor productivity. He believes his breeding strategies between Boran and other exotic cattle may increase the milk productivity from 4-6 liters to 8. He hopes to affect livestock productivity and bring some positive changes to the urban small-scale dairy farmers of Ethiopia. Mr. Degefa works as a researcher with the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research in Debre Zeit since 1999, focusing on dairy cattle improvement and reproductive management.
Mr. Degefa is in personal contact with both of his mentors. He began working with Dr. Curtis Youngs, his US Mentor from Iowa State, in 2013 while developing the biotech aspects of his Boran cattle breeding research. Dr. Youngs has been publishing research on embryo transfers in livestock since 2001. Mr. Degefa’s CGIAR mentor, Dr. Azage Tegegne of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), is known to be a premier scientist on Boran research, and will act as an essential source of knowledge as Mr. Degefa proceeds with his experiment. Dr. Tegegne has over 20 years of experience in university teaching, research, extension and development activities, with a specialization in animal reproduction. He expects to complete his PhD in Veterinary Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2016.