The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture is preparing a third military team for its mission to help Afghanistan rebuild its farm economy.

The training for members of the Army Reserve’s 431 Civil Affairs Battalion, under the command of Col. Richard Sele, runs Monday, June 11, through Thursday, June 14, at the Pauline Whitaker Animal Science Center, 1335 W. Knapp Drive, Fayetteville.

The training agenda:

  • Monday – Management of livestock including horses, sheep, goats, cattle, including lab time, in the morning. The afternoon was to be devoted to fruit and vegetable production.
  • Tuesday – Grape diseases, soil fertility, beekeeping basics and how to help farmers form cooperatives.
  • Wednesday – Poultry management, water conservation and irrigation, grain and seed storage and food preservation.
  • Thursday -- Tours of the University of Arkansas’ experiment station units and a wrap-up. 

This will mark the third time University of Arkansas Division personnel have conducted training for agricultural support teams for the military.

In 2009, a team from the Arkansas National Guard’s 188th Fighter Wing from Little Rock Air Force Base spent a week training with university personnel. A year later, a team of Army and Air National Guard members worked with division personnel in their training as Agribusiness  Development Team II.

For more on one of the teams, see here.

“It’s quite an honor to be working again with our troops as they continue to help Afghan farmers get back up to speed,” said Dustan Clark, an Extension veterinarian who coordinated the training. “They’ll be learning a lot in their short time with us, but they will be able to continue consulting with us from the field.”