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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard sends first agribusiness team to Afghanistan

By Heather Thorstensen
hthorstensen@agrinewscom

Date Modified: 09/15/2011 8:28 AM
http://wwwagrinewscom/images/gallery/1347/mediumc1813d1a6fjpg
The 135th Agribusiness Development Team includes, from left, Captain Cheryl Wachenheim, Lieutenant Colonel Ken DeGier, Lieutenant Colonel Dan Bohmer, Colonel Eric Ahlness and Second Lieutenant Davin Fischer

INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn — The Minnesota National Guard is preparing to send its first team to Afghanistan specifically to support the war-torn nation's farmers

Twenty-two soldiers will deploy for a one-year mission as part of the 135th Agribusiness Development Team Twelve of them have agribusiness backgrounds or expertise

"This is a unique and important mission that will take citizen-soldiers working in Minnesota's agricultural sector and seek to leverage their skills and abilities in Afghanistan," said Army Col Eric Ahlness, the 135th ADT Commander

With a motto of "Growing Victory," their USDA-set objectives are to support the Afghan government by working to increase the agriculture sector's jobs and incomes, help farmers become successful and ultimately hand over support of farmers to the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture

By improving their lives, it's less likely Afghans will join forces against the United States, such as the Taliban

The team will leave Oct 1 for pre-deployment training at Camp Atterbury in Indiana and will arrive in Afghanistan in late October or early November They are relieving a similar team from Arkansas and and will be stationed in the southeastern Zabul Province The 135th ADT is scheduled to return to America sometime in September, 2012

Article source
http://www.agrinews.com/minnesota/national/guard/sends/first/agribusiness/team/to/afghanistan/story-3912.html



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