The 82nd Agribusiness Development Team — a team of 58 Wisconsin National Guard members deploying to Afghanistan next year — will hold a media day on Friday, July 29 from 12:30-2 p.m. in the Public Event Building (Building 877) at the Arlington Ag Research Station, N. 65 Hopkins Road, in Arlington, Wis.
The media day follows completion of a 40-hour course, nicknamed Agricultural Extreme 101, which the 82nd ADT will take part in next week at the Arlington Ag Research Station.
The course — designed by The Babcock Institute for International Dairy Research and Development at the University of Wisconsin College of Agriculture and Life Sciences — is tailored to focus on farming techniques in Kunar province to help prepare the team for their spring of 2012 deployment.
During their deployment, members of the 82nd ADT will use their military occupational specialties and their civilian skills to teach Afghan farmers in Kunar province how to effectively farm and herd to expand agribusiness, create jobs and reduce poverty.
The team is comprised of Wisconsin Army and Air National Guard members. Thirty-one members of the team, consisting of mainly infantry Soldiers, will serve as security for the team. The other members consist of various administrative and technical staff, including forestry specialists, agronomist, agricultural marketing specialist, a hydrologist, a pest control specialist, engineers, a veterinary technician and multiple mechanics, medics and communications specialists.
Projects that other Agribusiness teams have undertaken include training Afghans in beekeeping, advising grape farmers in the use of trellises to increase yield, educating livestock owners in the use of vaccines to improve herd health, and establishing demonstration farms to highlight various agriculture techniques.