Kentucky National Guard receives highest Kentucky women in agriculture award

VHV

Story by Sgt. Jo Lisa Ashley

Photos by Sgt. 1st Class Crystal Dunn

 

Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, USDA, presented Capt. Carla Getchell, Capt. Paula Thrush and Sgt. Jo Lisa Ashley with the Laura Clay Award Nov. 9.

ASHLAND, Ky. (November 19, 2010)– The Laura Clay Award for excellence in Agriculture was awarded to The Kentucky Army National Guard for its past, present and future efforts in developing an agriculture base for women in Afghanistan at a ceremony in Ashland, Ky., Oct. 28.

Kentucky Agribusiness Development Team members Sgt. Jo Lisa Ashley,  Eubank, Ky., ADT I, Capt. Paula Thrush, Lexington, Ky., ADT III and Capt. Carla Getchell, Frankfort, Ky., ADT III accepted the award on behalf of the Kentucky Guard.

The award is the highest distinction given by Kentucky Women In Agriculture. The organization recognizes Kentuckians who make a difference in today’s world, and the future, at the local, state and national level agriculturally within our communities.

Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Kathleen A. Merrigan, presented the Soldiers with the award. She was the guest speaker for the Kentucky Women in Agriculture annual conference and spoke about USDA’s initiatives.

ADT Teams I and II deployed to Bagram Airfield, Parwan Province, Afghanistan and Team III will soon arrive to continue the efforts.

Assigned within the ADT is a Women’s Empowerment Teams charged with providing the Afghan women within the ADT’s AO with agribusiness projects to make a positive impact on the future of the region.  Maj. Bobbie Jo  Mayes leads ADT II Women’s Empowerment Team.

Using apiculture, saffron and poultry, the projects have provided women with agribusiness education imparting the means to contribute to family income.

Kentucky National Guardsmen Capt. Carla Getchell, Capt. Paula Thrush and Sgt. Jo Lisa Ashley stand with state and national agribusiness professionals at the Kentucky Women in Agriculture annual conference Nov. 9. The Soldiers accepted the Laura Clay Award, Kentucky’s highest award for excellence in the Agriculture community for Kentucky women.

In a country where women are slowly gaining freedoms, supplementing income to their household is turning over new soil for the agriculture foundation of a war torn country with hopes of growing a great future for its women, widows and children.

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