News: Farah Director of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (DAIL) Employees Attend Veterinary Training
FOB Farah – Eight livestock experts from the office of the Farah Director of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock completed a two day veterinary training program coordinated by Provincial Reconstruction Team Farah and supported by the 438th Medical Detachment Veterinary Services and Special Operations Task Force West veterinarians at Forward Operating Base Farah, Dec. 1.
The training event was coordinated by PRT Farah’s U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Field Program Officer, Chris Koym, and included training on forages, artificial insemination, slaughter techniques and diseases of public health significance in livestock. The training also featured a hands-on physical examination of a live cow that helped to reinforce the training that was provided throughout the class.
“Farah has an agriculturally based economy and this type of train-the-trainer engagement for reps from the DAIL’s office is a low-cost way for us to provide a real benefit to the community,” said Koym. “In this transition environment, we’re constantly looking for ways to build capacity at low cost and this training does just that.”
Another highlight of the training was having veterinarians on hand that typically aren’t a part of the PRT’s staff, said Koym.
“During the last PRT rotation, Captain Basinger [U.S. Army Capt. Shawn Basinger] ran into our old civil affairs lead, Lt. Col. Anthony Ulrich, and they talked about providing training to local Afghans in the DAIL’s office if the opportunity arose. Thankfully, it worked out that Captain Basinger was able to provide the training.”
Capt. Basinger, a trained veterinarian who works with the 438th MDVS, doesn’t typically teach courses like the training held at FOB Farah. In fact, he was in Farah to complete a food and water vulnerability risk assessment at the dining facility on the FOB when he ran into Ulrich, who asked for his assistance to train the local population on livestock issues.
“On a day-to-day basis, Sergeant Piterechu [Staff Sgt. Roland Piterechu] and I typically work on force health protection issues along with taking care of military working dogs. But, we always try to jump in where we see a need in order to help out.”
Agricultural initiatives are a priority of effort for PRT Farah as the push to further develop licit agribusiness models attempts to curtail the cultivation of poppy and the opium trade within the province. Farah province is the fourth leading producer of poppy in Afghanistan, which is the number one opium producing country in the world. Currently, several agricultural and agribusiness initiatives are being pursued between the PRT, the provincial DAIL, Manan Matin, and other line directors to help assist with governance and economic development in Farah.
“We have a great working relationship with the PRT,” said Matin. “It is important that we take advantage of the training that is being offered so my extension agents can share it with the people of Farah. My employees and I are working hard to bring the best services to Farahis for future development.”
PRT Farah’s mission is to train, advise and assist Afghan government leaders at the municipal, district, and provincial levels in Farah Province, Afghanistan. Their civil-military team is comprised of members of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Date Posted:12.02.2012 00:55
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