FFA Partners with Ky. Agribusiness Development Team

Maj. Gen. Edward Tonini, Kentucky's Adjutant General, stands with members of FFA following their donation of agricultural products and humanitarian supplies to the Ky. Agribusiness Development Team in Afghanistan, Dec. 10. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Hiler, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Members of the Kentucky’s agricultural community gathered together in support of one of the National Guard’s most unique wartime missions.

“Daniel Webster said, a long time ago, ‘when tillage begins, other arts follow,'” quoted Steve Meredith, Executive Director of the Agriculture Communication Association, “‘and the farmer, therefore, is the founder of civilization.'”

The Kentucky National Guard’s Agribusiness Development Team’s main mission is to assist the Afghan government with security, construction, economic and agricultural support in the assigned area of operations, as well as, facilitate the reception, training, housing and sustainment of U.S. troops entering the country.

Adjutant General Edward W. Tonini joined members of the Kentucky National Guard’s Agribusiness Development Team in receiving more than $6,000 worth of gifts, supplies and other items to be sent to troops overseas in time for the holidays. ┬áThe event took place Dec. 10 at the Ky. National Guard Headquarters located on Boone National Guard Center, Frankfort.

“It’s very special and it’s very effective,” Tonini commented. “We are very appreciative of this effort.”

Put together by members of the Future Farmers of America and other Kentucky agricultural professionals, the packages include winter clothing items and candy for Afghan children and their families as well as Kentucky-produced food products and gifts for the troops.

There are currently more than 60 Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen in Afghanistan as part of Kentucky’s first agribusiness mission. ┬áThe team members possess a variety of agriculture-related skills and backgrounds which they are sharing with Afghan farmers with the goal of developing self-sufficiency and stability.

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