The National Guard Agricultural Development Team
It was great to learn recently about a joint initiative taking place between the Babcock Institute for International Dairy Research and Development. and the Arlington Agricultural Research Station to establish and educate a National Guard Agricultural Development Team (ADT).
The ADT is a volunteer unit of Army National Guard Soldiers and Air National Guard Airmen, all of whom have pre-existing expertise in various aspects of agriculture. Early next year, the unit is due to be deployed to Kunar province in Afghanistan, a mountainous area located along the border near Pakistan. There, they will work closely with Afghan farmers with the aim of helping to rebuild their agriculture industry and alleviate poverty in the region.
To help prepare the 82nd ADT for working with the people of Kunar province the unit, which comprises of two platoons totaling 52 servicemen and women, recently completed a one-week “Ag 101” training program held at Arlington Agricultural Research Station, on the UW-Madison campus, at the West Madison Agricultural Research Station and several other area farms.
The course was specifically designed to educate the ADT on agricultural issues and challenges particular to the Kunar province,
Many topics were covered during the training. For example, Dairy and Beef Cattle Management, Water Management and Irrigation, Veterinary Care, Pasture Improvement, Alternative and Rural Power Supply, Pest Management, Plant Identification, Honey Bees, Key Leader Engagement and Poultry Keeping.
Keep up the great work and here’s to achieving peace and stability in this war torn region of the world.