A dozen or so members of the Wisconsin National Guard’s 97th Agribusiness Development Team is on its way to Camp Atterbury, Ind., for several weeks of mobilization training before deploying to Afghanistan. The group received Ag 101 training at CALS during 2012 through the Babcock Institute for International Dairy Research and Development and the Arlington Agricultural Research Station.
This is the the second ADT sent to Afghanistan from Wisconsin. The first, the 82nd ADT, also trained at CALS—it spent a week here in July 2011 and deployed early in 2012. The 97th ADT will replace the 82nd ADT in Kunar Province, Afghanistan as part of the Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team. They will work with Afghan farmers there on techniques and practices to more effectively farm and herd and to expand agribusiness, create jobs and reduce poverty. Current projects there include demonstration farms, education and training, and women’s programs. The goal is to help move Afghan farm families beyond subsistence to profitability.