By U.S. Army Pfc. Derek Kuhn, 40th Public Affairs DetachmentJuly 23, 2009
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan Aca,!" BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan Aca,!" Agriculture in Afghanistan is progressing due to the efforts of many Agribusiness Development Teams, their security forces and the donation of agricultural equipment from communities in the U.S.
Programs initiated by ADTs have been so successful that five U.S. governors came to see first hand the progress being made.
The governorAca,!a,,cs of Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Minnesota and Nevada made stops at Bagram Air Field, Forward Operating Base Fenty-Shields and FOB Ghazni where they not only saw the progress, but greeted Soldiers from their respective states.
Aca,!A"We came out here to thank our Soldiers and to show them that America cares,Aca,!A? said Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Aca,!A"The (PRTs) and Agri Development Teams are making a huge impact.Aca,!A?
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, readily agreed with his peers.
Aca,!A"We are making a lot of progress,Aca,!A? Nixon said. Aca,!A"The agricultural missions are reaching out and they are what everyone is talking about [back in the U.S].Aca,!A?
The buzz created by such agricultural projects has led communities to donate supplies for agricultural projects like the grain bins recently donated from a Nebraska community to Janqadam village near BAF.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, believes Americans are bridging the gap between the U.S. and Afghanistan, which will ensure a safe and stable democracy.
Aca,!A"We [U.S. citizens] have to continue reaching out to the people of Afghanistan and ensure they feel our presence here is adding value [to their lives],Aca,!A? said Pawlenty.
Nixon said Afghans are beginning to turn their situation around by generating revenue and being able to feed their families through the improvements in agriculture.
Perry agreed and believes agri-development programs will lead to improvements in the standard of living for all Afghans.
Aca,!A"[When] you give people a livelihood, they have a reason to get up everyday,Aca,!A? said Perry. Aca,!A"That is how you win the peopleAca,!a,,cs hearts, minds and souls. The agriculture is very important for the future development of this country and our success here,Aca,!A? he said.
The effects of the agriculture programs are already being felt according to Nixon.
Aca,!A"They [U.S. Soldiers] are going into areas people thought they couldnAca,!a,,ct get into,Aca,!A? Nixon said. Aca,!A"But, we are and we are being successful in those places.Aca,!A?
The governors also wanted to personally thank the Soldiers for their service.
Aca,!A"We [the U.S.] are really proud of you,Aca,!A? said Perry, as the governors departed FOB Ghazni. Aca,!A"Thanks for serving [the U.S.], be safe and come home soon.Aca,!A?