National Guard agriculture team deploys to Afghanistan

By Peter Hull

Man with sheepFor the first time, a unit of the S.C. Army National Guard has deployed to Afghanistan with agriculture agents trained by Clemson Extension.

The Guard’s role is to help Afghan farmers improve productivity and stabilize the country’s economy by diversifying agriculture.

Twelve of the 64 members in the unit trained at Clemson during the summer to learn agricultural techniques as part of the Afghanistan Agribusiness Development Team.

On-campus training included classes on soil science and crop production, food microbiology and preservation, livestock management and Extension program development.

The unit’s deployment is “just another Extension mission,” according to Mac Horton, director of the Sandhill Research and Education Center in Columbia who coordinated the training. The difference is that this time the “agents” – National Guard troops – are traveling to another continent.

For information: Mac Horton, 803-788-5700,