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Sixty-four citizen/soldiers of the Indiana National Guard’s Agribusiness Development Teams were deployed in Khost Province, one of the Afghan-Pakistani border region’s most dangerous hotspots.

The Agribusiness Development Team’s 16 experts, protected by 35 Hoosier National Guard soldiers—both burly southern Indiana farm boys and urban guys from Gary, Indiana, use their varied civilian expertise—especially agricultural expertise—to win the trust of the Afghani rural population wavering between the influence of the Taliban and Kabul’s American-backed national government.

Journalist Douglas Wissing lived and worked with the National Guard troops as they helped farmers in the Khost region to improve their agribusiness and economic productivity.

Stories From This Series

March 12, 2010

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Families with Flags

Cultivating Afghanistan: The Homecoming

The Indiana National Guard's 119th Agribusiness Development Team, or ADT, has finished its mission to Afghanistan.

March 9, 2010

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119th and 219th Shura

Cultivating Afghanistan: Replacing the 119th

As the first Agribusiness Development Team, or ADT, finishes up its deployment, the second ADT organizes to replace them.

March 5, 2010

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Sara Wright and Catherine Lobbestael

Cultivating Afghanistan: Married to the Military

Counselors often tell soldiers the price is freedom is high—very high. Not just for the soldiers, but also for their families.

February 19, 2010

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Base Howitzer

Cultivating Afghanistan: Attack on FOB Salerno

Though Forward Operating Base Salerno has seen relatively few casualties, there are still insurgent attacks on the base where the team is stationed.

February 19, 2010

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Tutoring Returning Soldiers

Cultivating Afghanistan: Battling Polytrauma

As the Indiana National Guard 119th Agribusiness Development Team returns home, some members face medical issues.

February 5, 2010

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Tani District Elders

Cultivating Afghanistan: Battling Afghan Corruption

In this segment of WFIU’s ongoing series “Cultivating Afghanistan”, reporter Douglas Wissing reports on the team’s efforts to combat Afghan corruption.

January 25, 2010

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A photo of Khost Province from the air

Cultivating Afghanistan: ADT Medical Care

The Indiana National Guard Agribusiness Development Team, or ADT, has been lucky to suffer few serious injuries during its tenure in Afghanistan.

January 19, 2010

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Cultivating Afghanistan 18

Cultivating Afghanistan: Feeding an Army

In this segment of his series “Cultivating Afghanistan,” Reporter Doug Wissing chews on the matter of feeding an army…

January 11, 2010

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A photo of villagers building a check dam

Cultivating Afghanistan: Turning Dams Into Walls

Despite the best-laid plans of the Agribusiness Development Team, sometimes there are still walls built -- literally -- between villagers and the military.

January 4, 2010

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Two village goats and an ADT soldier

Cultivating Afghanistan — Half a Year of Progress?

WFIU begins begin a second installment of our series “Cultivating Afghanistan” with update on the ADT’s progress a in a Taliban-controlled district.

August 28, 2009

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Cultivating Afghanistan: The War So Far

Cultivating Afghanistan: Colonel Michael Howard and The War So Far

Col. Michael Howard, Brigade Commander in the turbulent eastern Afghan provinces where the 119th Agribusiness Development Team operates, talks about the war so far.

August 19, 2009

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Cultivating Afghanistan: The War on the Homefront

The war in Afghanistan affects not only the soldiers fighting it, but their spouses back home. And it has different consequences each time a loved one deploys.

August 13, 2009

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Cultivating Afghanistan: Female Soldiers of the ADT

Cultivating Afghanistan: Female Soldiers of the ADT

Four female soldiers are part of the Indiana National Guard’s 1-19th Agribusiness Development Team, or ADT.

July 31, 2009

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Cultivating Afghanistan: NGOs Critical of the Military

American-led coalition forces are waging a complicated counterinsurgency in Afghanistan, where critics say well-meaning military projects can be problematic.

July 22, 2009

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Cultivating Afghanistan: Anthopologists and the Insurgency

The ADT soldiers use specialized social scientists, both in Afghanistan and back home in Indiana, to better understand Afghan societies.

July 20, 2009

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Cultivating Afghanistan: A Day on FOB Salerno

A look at a day in the life of the base which is home to the Indiana National Guard's 119th Agribusiness Development Team.

July 10, 2009

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Cultivating Afghanistan: Securing the Soldiers

Khost Province, Afghanistan is an area so dangerous that constant security is crucial to the humanitarian mission of the Indiana National Guard's 119th ADT.

July 1, 2009

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Cultivating Afghanistan: Finding Profit in Farming

As part of its mission in Afghanistan, the Indiana National Guard's Agribusiness Development Team must determine which products farmers should raise.

June 23, 2009

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Cultivating Afghanistan: Finding Food for Animal Husbandry

The Indiana National Guard's 119th Agribusiness Team is working to improve breeding and feeding of animals in Eastern Afghanistan.

June 17, 2009

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Cultivating Afghanistan: Irrigating Khost Province

The farmer-soldiers of the Indiana National Guard's 119th Agribusiness Development Team have begun working to make irrigation more sustainable in Afghanistan.

June 10, 2009

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Cultivating Afghanistan: The Dangers of Khost Province

Though The Indiana National Guard's 119th Agribusiness Team is in Afghanistan to help farmers, that doesn't mean their mission is not fraught with danger.

June 3, 2009

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Cultivating Afghanistan: Getting There is Half the Battle

It took WFIU reporter Douglas Wissing months to plan his trip to Afghanistan. Then it took him several harried days to get there.

May 26, 2009

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Cultivating Afghanistan: Learning the Language and Customs

As part of his continuing series on Hoosier farmer-soldiers, reporter Douglas Wissing explores how National Guard troops learn how to work in Afghanistan.

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Support Comes From

Support for Cultivating Afghanistan comes from The Indiana University Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, Office of International Programs and The Center for Languages of the Central Asian Region.

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