Afghanistan Trip Offers Insight for West Texas Research Scientist
November 11, 2016

Afghanistan and West Texas have more in common than one might imagine, noted a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist, fresh from a trip to the South Asian country.

Dr. John Walker, AgriLife Research resident director at San Angelo, was among a group that traveled to Afghanistan in early fall to participate in an Afghan agricultural Extension project. The effort was part of a three-year, $20 million project in cooperation with University of California - Davis, Washington State University, Purdue University, Maryland State University and the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture at Texas A&M University in College Station.

"Our purpose for going there was to assist in training their county Extension agents in sheep production and to help them with the analysis of information they're getting from their provincial model farms," Walker said.

That concept is very similar to the relationship his agency has with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, he said. AgriLife Research develops the technology and AgriLife Extension agents disseminate, explain and demonstrate it to producers, largely on the grassroots level throughout Texas.

"The take home message is they have a lot of issues, one of the biggest being that the country has as many people as Texas does with about the same land area," said Walker. "But because it's so mountainous, they have a very limited amount of land on which to grow food and fiber."

Read more about Dr. Walker's trip at