Recently the Texas National Guard Agribusiness Development team #2 came to the
Texas National Guard Agribusiness Development team members (front l-r) Sergeant Todd Plybon, Sergeant Major Harlan Hardy, (back l-r) First Lieutenant Brad Clark, Major John Ploch, Dr. Paul Dyke (leader of stateside support team) and Specialist Gabriel Greene.
Blackland Research and Extension Center and Texas AgriLife Research to receive training and develop a stateside support team. Dr. Paul Dyke, a research scientist, at Blackland Research and Extension Center, Temple will lead the support team.
The team members include Major John Ploch, First Lieutenant Brad Clark, Sergeant Major Harlan Hardy, Sergeant Todd Plybon, and Specialist Gabriel Greene. The Texas National Guard team with supporting staff will have a total of about 65 members and will deploy to Afghanistan early in 2009 for a 8-13 month tour of duty there.
The team’s mission will be to provide basic agricultural education and services, assist with improving agricultural infrastructure and conduct stability operations for the people of Ghazni Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Their purpose is to identify, develop, and implement a comprehensive and sustainable agribusiness development strategy with clear measures for effectiveness for improving the agriculture industry in the Ghazni Province.
Dr. Dyke became a part of this mission because he has been involved with a USAID Project in Afghanistan and has traveled to Afghanistan and has had experience with agriculture in Afghanistan over the past several years. The National Guard team hopes to interface and gain assistance with the project from a Texas AgriLife Research staff already in Afghanistan.