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USDA Employee Bruce Dubee Volunteers to Help Rebuild Afghanistan’s Agricultural Sector

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2010 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) today announced that Bruce Dubee, a Natural Resource Specialist with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Washington, D.C., recently volunteered to serve a 1-year assignment in Afghanistan to help rebuild that country’s agricultural sector. Since 2003, USDA has deployed more than 100 people for medium- and long-term assignments in Afghanistan and allotted roughly $256 million in food aid to the country.

"The efforts of people like Bruce Dubee are crucial for creating a stable, democratic and economically viable Afghanistan," said John Brewer, Administrator for FAS. "Whether their expertise is in soil and water conservation, agribusiness development, agricultural extension and policy, or veterinary services, volunteers like Bruce are contributing their specialized skills to help farmers, citizens and national and provincial government leaders of Afghanistan rebuild knowledge, institutional capacity and livelihoods. Together, we are providing the foundation on which the agricultural economy of the country can prosper and thrive and create political and social stability."

In 2003, three USDA employees were among the first civilians to bring technical expertise as agricultural experts serving within civilian-military units composed of U.S. and coalition military personnel and civilians from such agencies as the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development and USDA.

Agricultural experts work instructively with Afghans through a variety of activities meant to strengthen the capacity of the Afghan government, rebuild agricultural markets, and improve management of natural resources. USDA projects to-date have included installing windmills to pump water for irrigation and livestock, training veterinarians to detect and treat parasites, rehabilitating a university’s agricultural research laboratory, stabilizing eroded river banks and irrigation canals, developing post-harvest storage facilities, rehabilitating degraded orchards, mentoring provincial directors of agriculture to help them improve their services to farmers, and reforestation.

This is Dubee’s second deployment to Afghanistan. Dubee served as an agricultural expert in Afghanistan’s Kunar province from February 2008 through February 2009. During that time he helped to establish cold storage facilities, improve irrigation systems, stabilize stream banks, and establish orchards and vineyards. He also developed an agriculture radio show that aired twice per week.

Born in Providence, Rhode Island, and raised in nearby Cranston, Dubee received a Bachelor of Science degree in resource development from the University of Rhode Island in South Kingston. He also completed advanced studies in soil science at the University of New Hampshire in Durham.

In addition to agricultural experts, USDA also manages programs that train Afghan agricultural officials and professionals in the United States. USDA-led programs such as the Cochran Fellowship Program, the Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellows Program, and the Faculty Exchange Program have brought more than 50 Afghans to the United States since 2004 for specialized training lasting from two weeks to five months in duration. These public and private sector policymakers, scientists, and academics have upgraded their technical skills in a wide range of topics and then shared this knowledge with their students and colleagues in Afghanistan.

General information about USDA’s programs and activities in Afghanistan can be found at


Matt Herrick (202) 720-0551

PR 0128-10

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