press play to hear from Sgt. Major Robert Reedy
Around 60 soldiers with farming backgrounds from Iowa are headed to Afghanistan to help producers there. Sergeant Major Robert Reedy says the Agri-Business Development Team consists of National Guard members from around the state. He says one challenge is the climate differences between the Midwest and Middle East. Reedy says they’ve been working with the USDA and Iowa State University to identify favorable crops and production methods. One of the primary goals of the ADT is to wean Afghan farmers off of poppy production and move towards sustenance crops like wheat, as well as cash crops such as pomegranates, grapes and oranges.