STORIES in Agriculture and Life Sciences


Willy Klein


The "Dirt Warriors" landed on Afghan soils in July ready to help rebuild the agricultural infrastructure and increase capacity of agricultural systems in the Kunar province. The 60 members of the Iowa National Guard 734th Agri-Business Development Team (ADT) coined their own nickname. The Iowa Army and Air National Guard members are also livestock and crop producers, veterinarians, agronomists, engineers, foresters, marketers and agri-business professionals. Their first order of business was to become familiar with Kunar province land, farmers, agricultural professionals and government officials. ADT senior officers focused on building relationships and learning how the Afghans see their agricultural needs. Such conversations and assessments gave the team solid footing for developing practical, sustainable initiatives to implement relatively quickly.