Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Troops Helping the Farmers

De-worming sheep in Iraq Deworming Cattle in Afghanistan

As a livestock producer, I know how important the health of the animal is to the success of the livelyhood of the farmer. It is impressive to know that our troops are working with the farmers to ensure the health of their animals in the midst of the wars. More great work from our troops!

PS - These pictures make this look easy, but this is hard, dirty, physical work - just ask any farmer!

Sgt David Bill
48th Brigade Combat Team PAO

Cows and sheep are being used to help develop trust and friendship between local Iraqi farmers and Task Force Baghdad Soldiers.

The Soldiers from C Company, 490th Civil Affairs Battalion, 48th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division conducted a Veterinarian Community Health Outreach Programs mission Aug. 22 southwest of Baghdad.

Under this program, Army veterinarians go into local communities and provide a quick health check on the livestock in the area. If required, they also provide medication to help keep them healthy.

"We try to go out to various areas a couple times per week to check on which animals have been treated recently and which have not," said Maj. Daniel Cardosa, a veterinarian from C Co.

More than 60 sheep and two dozen cows were medicated during the day's mission. 'We were de-worming the sheep with an oral medication.

Cows were being treated with a topical medication. Both medications are used to kill most internal parasites and a good number of external parasites as well," added Cardosa.

The process of medicating the animals is a team effort as the farmer or his children assist in getting the sheep, one by one, in a steady position so the veterinarian can insert a medical injector.

"I think it allows us to put a friendly face on the United States and get a foot in the door to show that we're here to help them not hurt them," explained Cardosa, a West Greenwich, R.I. resident. "Then at another time we can come back and do assessments for electrical and water problems we may be able to solve for them."

Getting Iraqi veterinarians out to work with the farmers has also been a focus of the CA team, so more can be done for the animals.

When asked about what Coalition Forces were doing on a larger scale, Cardosa replied, "In the bigger scheme of things we are working with the Ministry of Agriculture to develop animal health and agricultural programs, so they are not solely dependent on oil for their income. We're trying to develop other economic sectors for the country."

C Co.'s overall mission is to provide more than just the basic services for Iraqis. The unit conducts a wide range of operations to include humanitarian support, coordination with government entities, and community outreach.

Services such as sewage, water, electricity, and trash are important to the local population and are some of the main priorities of the CA Team.

No comments: