You may be seeing groups of people in camo in the days to come. From July 23–27, CALS is once again providing a week of “Agriculture 101” training for the Wisconsin National Guard’s 97th Agricultural Development Team to help the soldiers prepare for deployment in Afghanistan. This is similar to last year’s work with the 82nd ADT, which is now deployed in Kunar Province (see their Facebook page for updates). The 97th will be headed to the same region. As was the case last year, the course is a joint effort of Dave Kantor, Karen Nielsen and others at the Babcock Institute and Jeff Breuer of the Arlington Agricultural Research Station.
It’s a packed curriculm. The bulk of the training will take place at Arlington, but the ADT will be on campus on Tuesday, at the Meat and Muscle Biology Lab, learning about meat processing from Jeff Sindelar, and in the Stock Pavilion, learning about veterinary medicine from Benjamin Darien of the School of Veterinary Medicine. On Wednesday afternoon they’ll visit a couple of area farms that raise goats and poultry. They’ll spend part of Thursday at the West Madison research station, where Judy Reith-Rozelle will talk about fruits and vegetables, and at the Nevin Fish Hatchery, hosted by DNR’s Mike Aquino. Others involved in the training include Matt Ruark (soils and fertilizers); Janet Hedtcke (seeds and planting); Dan Heider (pest management); Matt Atkins (feed preservation); Bob Kaiser (cattle); Rusty Burgett (sheep); Rebecca Harbut (pomegranates and nuts); Bill Bland (water management); Rhonda Gildersleeve (rangeland and pasture); Vance Haugen (alternative and rural power); and Liba Brent (working with women and handicraft production).