Kentucky soldiers to help farm in Afghanistan

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For the next year, dozens of Kentucky National Guard soldiers and airmen will be in Afghanistan, not to fight in the war on terror, but to help improve their economy agriculturally.

"These soldiers are ready to go to war. I know they are", says Maj. Gen. Edward Tonini, Kentucky's Adjutant General.

"This is my third deployment and it's an honor and privilege to be able to lead Kentucky soldiers", says Col. Mike Farley.

Colonel Mike Farley is helping lead this mission.

Unlike other missions Col. Mike Farley has been a part of, this one is different. They will be teaching people in Afghanistan to farm.

"Our whole mission is if we can build an economic base for this country they can one day stand on their own feet", says Col. Mike Farley.

64 soldiers and airmen from the Kentucky National Guard are focusing their efforts on helping the Afghan people improve their land.

"We're actually going over and building a program to not only teach them how to grow, but to educate them so that they can sustain this for years to come", says Col. Mike Farley.

Unlike the War on Terror that many of these men and women have experienced before, this type of mission will be a first for them.

"I think it's important because Afghanistan in the last 30 years or so has had a series of wars and now is the time to do some reconstruction and kinda help them out", says Lt. James Lehman with the Kentucky National Guard.

For families of these soldiers and airmen, this mission is also a first for them.

"It is difficult, but I have alot of faith in God and alot of faith in him and the mission he has at hand and I trust he'll go and come home safe", says Kim Farley, Col. Farley's wife.

Many, like Kim Farley, says they're optimistic of the mission, and the results it could bring.

"We are getting a wonderful opportunity to help others but in turn we're hoping to help our own country grow", says Kim Farley.

"We're not going over there to fight, if we have to we will, but we are going over there to help them grow something to better their country", says Col. Mike Farley.

The group, which makes up the Agribusiness Development Team, will train for several weeks in Indiana before they deploy on August 5th.

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