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USDA employee killed in Afghanistan

Agriculture.com Staff 10/08/2007 @ 7:13am

The USDA has announced that last Thursday, a Forest Service employee on voluntary assignment with the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service in Afghanistan was killed in an explosion near Ghazni. Steven Thomas Stefani was serving on a Provincial Reconstruction Team as an agricultural advisor.

"In Afghanistan, Tom was developing and implementing projects to help the people of the Ghazni Province," said acting Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner. "He worked directly with Ghazni's Director of Agriculture to create a reconstruction plan that included a poultry rearing facility and other agricultural advancements. Last month, Tom proudly reported that construction had begun on a cold storage facility for farmers to store their commodities, which would enable them to preserve and sell the products. He had also worked on a project to improve grape production and management practices. Tom's contributions will have a real and lasting impact on the people and agricultural economy of Afghanistan."

For USDA, Tom served as a rangeland management specialist on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in Nevada, working to balance livestock needs with those of rangelands.

USDA agricultural advisors volunteer to serve 6- to 9-month assignments in Afghanistan or Iraq. They help those governments support and provide reconstruction services to the agricultural sector.

The USDA has announced that last Thursday, a Forest Service employee on voluntary assignment with the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service in Afghanistan was killed in an explosion near Ghazni. Steven Thomas Stefani was serving on a Provincial Reconstruction Team as an agricultural advisor.

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