Tabasum Sharqi (left) opens a book she received for graduating at the top of her Fatima Girls High School class at a ceremony held at the Kunar Department of Women’s (click for more)
Soldiers from the Polish Army and the Texas National Guard Agribusiness Development Team-IV check their shot grouping during qualification on the Polish AK-74 5.56 mm Mini-Beryl short assault rifle Feb. (click for more)
U.S. Army Soldiers from Company B, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Task Force Duke, play an impromptu game of volleyball against a team (click for more)
Dr. Mehirulla Muslim, the Nurgaram District subgovernor, addresses an audience of teachers, government officials and citizens during a ceremony to celebrate a completed solar panel electricity project Feb. 21 in (click for more)
U.S. Army Spc. Raheem Stewart, an automations specialist with TF Phoenix, steps along the rafters of the building his team helped wire for communications. Stewart, from Dallas, was one of (click for more)
An Afghan National Army soldier from Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 201st Infantry Regiment, searches a pile of rocks in the courtyard of a high-value target home outside the village of (click for more)
U.S. Army Capt. Nicole Zupka of Fair Lawn, N.J., a battlewatch captain with Combined Joint Task Force-Paladin, helps an Afghan child with her writing skills during female engagement team training (click for more)
LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army soldiers move through Kharwar District to prevent the Taliban’s freedom of movement Feb. 12. U.S. and Afghan soldiers braved more than 3 feet (click for more)
Kentucky Agribusiness Development Team II members, U.S. Army Spc. Justin Allen (left), a London, Ky., native, and U.S. Army Sgt. Nicholas Combs, a Corbin, Ky., native, get to know a (click for more)
KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The Iowa National Guard’s 734th Agribusiness Development Team provided fruit production training for 16 high school boys from the Shegal District at the Bar Chage Demonstration Farm just north of Asadabad, Afghanistan, April 23.
The boys, dressed in matching school uniforms, waited patiently as the Iowa National Guard’s 734th ADT arrived to begin the training session, the first-ever at the team’s newest demonstration farm. U.S. Army Master Sgt. Bill Dunbar of Plymouth, Iowa, project manager for Bar Chage, breathed a sigh of relief.
“I was pretty sure we had this training all lined up, but you never know if things are going to go exactly as planned in Afghanistan,” Dunbar said. “I was sure glad to see the students on-time and ready to go.”
Three months ago, the Bar Chage Demonstration Farm was no more than a rocky field. A partnership between Dunbar and Haji Hazrat Ali Gul, a successful local orchard owner who owns the land where the demo farm was established, transformed the bare ground into a fully-functional orchard training facility, complete with more than 200 young and growing tangerine trees, in less than three months.
Gul was on-hand when the inaugural training session began. He told Dunbar the training session represented the fulfilment of a personal vision.
“I am very happy to see these students learning how to plant an orchard of their own; this is why I offered my land as a training site.” ,” Gul said. “Some of these children may grow up to be teachers, sub-governors, or one might become the president of Afghanistan.”
A young Afghan agricultural professional employed by the ADT, Said Obaidullah, provided the orchard training to the students. Obaidullah covered what kinds of fruit trees grow best in Kunar, basic planting techniques and how to keep young fruit trees healthy. Obaidullah, a graduate of the agriculture degree program at Nangarhar University, then guided the students as they each planted a fruit tree sapling.
“The students all got a lot out of this training,” Obaidullah said. “They all asked me, ‘When can I come back again and learn more?’”
Dunbar expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the initial training session at the Bar Chage Demonstration Farm and called it “just the beginning” of the training he hopes will continue in the months and years to come.
“Today was a good start, but there’s a lot more training to come,” Dunbar said.
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