KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Navy Lt. Mark Fetterman, Khowst Provincial Reconstruction Team engineer from Plymouth, Mass., stands on a hilly outcropping in Bak district during a foot (click for more)
PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army soldiers from 1st Coy, 3rd Kandak play with village children during a patrol through Sar Mast Kheyl, Zormat District Jan. 16. (click for more)
KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan – An MRAP remains idle as construction efforts surround Combat Outpost Bak and the nearby district center. ISAF, ANP and ANA members work together daily (click for more)
KHOWST PROVINCE – U.S. Army Spc. Kyle Oszczakiewicz, an infantryman with 2nd Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, from Trenton, N.J., scans for insurgents as 2nd Plt. receives (click for more)
GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Polish Battle Group A and Texas Army National Guard Ghazni ADT-IV conduct a village assessment of Pir Shabaz, a small village near Ghazni City, (click for more)
PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army Operations Sgt. Maj. Akhtar Muhammad takes questions from new recruits during Basic Warrior Training at Forward Operating Base Thunder Jan. 22. (click for more)
NURISTAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Spc. Michael Scarsbrook, an infantryman with Task Force Ironman, from Iowa Falls, Iowa, looks down on a spot in Tupac Jan. 21, (click for more)
LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Spc. Tyrik L. Holmes, assigned to 5th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Task Force Thunder, (click for more)
PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class David Davis, from Moore, Okla., the platoon sergeant of the 2-45th ADT’s security force, leads the rear security element (click for more)
NURISTAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Pfc. Corey Vanotegham, an infantry radio telephone operator from Victor, Iowa, with TF Ironman, smiles as he stands beside a Holstein cow (click for more)
PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan –To help move Afghan agriculture forward, U.S. Army Col. James Floyd had to become thoroughly familiar with the back end of a sheep during a visit to the Department of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock in Parwan Province Feb. 3.
Floyd, the team veterinarian for the Kentucky Agribusiness Development Team II, demonstrated the proper technique to obtain the necessary fecal matter used to assess the intestinal health of the animal.
Floyd’s demonstration was part of a trip by the Kentucky ADT II to the Parwan DAIL to deliver supplies and provide technical advice in preparation for a study of the effects of deworming medicine on Afghan sheep.
Research like this hasn’t been done in Afghanistan since the 1970s and is necessary in a country with 20 million sheep and goats.
“If (Afghan farmers) have not dewormed before, they may see a big difference, however we are not sure if deworming makes a big difference in every location,” Floyd said.
Floyd’s uncertainty is due to the lack of data. He and other U.S. Army military veterinarians found no studies on gastrointestinal worms in Afghan sheep since the mid-1970s. This created a problem: without data, Floyd and other experts had no way of knowing if deworming treatments should be routinely recommended to improve the health of sheep.
As a result, Floyd and the other veterinarians proposed a deworming study of sheep that could help Afghan farmers and demonstrate to the government the benefit of applied scientific studies in the field.
“We realized we could make this into a project to answer that question … and get the Afghan government and universities involved,” Floyd, of Shreveport, La., said. “We have the goal of demonstrating that this type of research is valid for them to do to generate useful information for the Afghan agriculture.”
Generating this information is relatively simple. In three Afghan provinces, three flocks of sheep will be studied. On the first day, the sheep are tagged, weighed, given a physical evaluation and have their feces sampled to determine the amount of worm eggs present. This procedure is repeated ten days later to determine if deworming on the first day effectively reduced the amount of worm eggs. The data and samples will be collected by Afghan collaborators and analyzed at a Bagram Airfield lab.
“It is very helpful,” said Sayed Mahmood, animal herd manager for DAIL and in charge of collecting the data in Parwan, through an interpreter. “Afghans keep cattle and sheep for everything.”
Floyd hopes that this study has more benefits than just helping sheep. After 30 years of war and devastation in Afghanistan, he hopes this encourages the Afghan people to invest in applied scientific research on farm animals.
“(Afghans) been disrupted for so long that this type of systematic research on animals is pretty well all gone,” Floyd said. “So, this is a new thing for Afghan veterinarians and farmers.”
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