Local Soldiers Teach Afghanis to Farm in Khowst Province

By Max Resnik

June 6, 2011 Updated Jun 6, 2011 at 6:19 PM EDT

KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Today, Indiana’s NewsCenter shared a video chat with five local soldiers who are helping Afghani farmers in the Khowst Province.

Their mission is to educate the farmers about greater sustainability in the region, instilling faith in local government and breaking down cultural and language barriers in a mission to work together to create a better future for the Afghani people.

Maj. Jeremy Gulley, of Hartford City and Principal of Huntington North High School, Maj. Shane Robbins, of Hartford City and Superintendent of Monroe Central Schools, Lt. Jesse Hardy, of Roanoke and a 2004 graduate of Homestead High School, Spc. Cadel Crowl, of Angola and current Purdue University Agriculture Education student and Lt. Bart Lomont, of New Haven and Lt. Governor Skillman’s Policy Director make up the Indiana National Guard’s 3-19th Agribusiness Development Team working with Shaikh Zayed University.

Maj. Shane Robbins cannot help but to stress the importance of education.

“We realize and we understand and believe that education is the growth in any culture. I think that's the way ahead and the way forward. So when we have those opportunities to work with educators, it definitely makes us realize that hey, we're glad we're here in the capacity we're here in.”

Maj. Jeremy Gulley agrees saying the opportunity to work with a local university benefits not only the farmers but the soldiers as well.

“Six schools and 130 teachers received greenhouses and chicken coops and things that are growing this province profitably and we think education will be the way in which the future of this province will unfold."

All of this of course comes on the heels of intense debate in Washington D.C. over America’s continued presence in the region. Since the announcement of the death of Osama bin Laden politicians have sparred over how dramatic the troop drawback should be.

One impression that could be left in the Khowst Province is the ability to farm and seek local government assistance without a U.S. Military presence.

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