Soldiers with Task Force Warrior in Afghanistan have teamed with Midwestern farmers to resolve grain storage issues in the Kapisa province.
On July 13, the Task Force Agribusiness Development Team (ADT) visited the province to assess the progress.
There, they saw grains bins that once dotted the plains in Chase County, being used by grateful farmers halfway around the world.
“These completed grain bins are the first in Afghanistan, and serve as an excellent way for farmers to store their grain,” said Sgt. 1st Class Eldon Kuntzelman of Imperial, development team agronomist.
Kuntzelman began working on the project over a year ago, before deployment.
After hearing of grain storage issues in Afghanistan, Kuntzelman worked with ADT members and volunteers to disassemble and ship grain bins donated by Chase County farmers Kip Bremer, Kurt Bernhardt, Wayne Bahler, and Gregg Smith.
Business owner Bob Mendenhall of Imperial lent his boom truck and air tools to help with the disassembly, loading, and transporting of the bins.
“It took about a week to take down the eight bins,” said Kuntzelman, who credited farmer Richard Banks for his role in disassembling and loading the storage units.
“Once we hit the ground here in October 2008, we started assessing the area for places to put the bins up,” he said.
During the mission July 13, the ADT assessed the project and Kuntzelman was pleased with what he saw. He credited the Afghan farmers with constructing the grain bins “exactly as we trained them.”
Kuntzelman said Afghan farmers were happy to have a place to store grain, and they passed out fruit to ADT members as a sign of appreciation.
In addition to the three completed grain bins in Kapisa, one grain bin has been delivered to Parwan and four will be shipped to Panjshir.
Kuntzelman said all eight bins should be completed by the end of July.