Conditions in Afghanistan are also harsh. Perched at an elevation of 8,000 feet, the country is in dire need of energy sources. While the region is currently limited to the use of generators and wood-burning stoves, the team hopes to introduce sustainable sources like solar and wind.

Energy limitations create additional challenges for the agricultural producers, who still grow food without the benefit of modern equipment or technology. Compounding the problem, growing seasons are short, so the window for educating farmers on modern techniques is brief.

The team will focus on the region’s primary agricultural products: fish, beekeeping and orchards, but also hopes to help modernize livestock management practices. One workshop the team attended at the Noble Foundation taught basic livestock handling. “Afghan ranchers may not have nutritional supplements and access to hay as we do here in the United States, but general education and fundamental knowledge will certainly improve the quality of their livestock,” said Robert Wells, Ph.D., livestock consultant, who helped instruct the National Guard team at Basic AG events.