U.S. Senator Mark Pryor today applauded the work of two Arkansans who served in Iraq as civilian agricultural experts with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Sam Tabler and Fred Woehl's efforts were recently recognized by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack at a ceremony in Washington, DC.
"In order to create long-term security in Iraq, the country needs to have a strong, stable economy," Pryor said. "I am proud of the Arkansans -- from our troops to civilians -- who have shared their knowledge and skills with the Iraqis so the nation can build a robust agricultural sector. These efforts will help drive economic development and stamp out violence. Sam Tabler and Fred Woehl's courage and sacrifice have strengthened both Iraq and America's security, and I thank them for their service."
According to the USDA, agriculture represents 10 percent of Iraq's overall economy. USDA experts help teach people to increase productivity on the farm, develop functioning markets, improve availability of agricultural credit, and enhance infrastructure along the supply chain.
Sam Tabler is from Booneville, AR. Sam served in the Babil Province of Iraq from 2009 to 2010, where he worked with the Babil Beekeepers Association and supervised the construction of a honey processing and breeding facility. He also worked to develop and introduce new technologies to area farmers that increased agricultural productivity.
Fred Woehl is from Harrison, AR. Fred served on the Mosul Provincial Reconstruction Team in Ninewa, Iraq from 2008 to 2009, where he helped revitalize the largest irrigation system in the country and developed cooperation between the Ministry of Agriculture and Extension for agricultural training. He received the Meritorious Honor award from Ambassador Chris Hill for his efforts.