USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service Employees Overcome Risks to Contribute to Stability and Development in Iraq and Afghanistan
When you hear about two employees dedicating their time to an important issue such as this one, the least one can do is acknowledge the level of commitment and importance of the roles they play for the agency and USDA.
Dr. Jaroslaw Fabis, a Supervisory Veterinary Medical Officer in Raleigh, North Carolina, volunteered in Maysan, a town near the Iranian border, from February to October 2009. Dr. Fabis joined the American Embassy in Iraq as an agriculture advisor for the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT) to contribute to the goal of stability and development of the Iraqi agricultural community. Part of the U.S. mission in Iraq is to strengthen this particular sector of the community to facilitate their economic autonomy and Dr. Fabis took time out of his regular duties to accomplish just that. As the first veterinarian to visit Maysan, Dr. Fabis worked closely with the Maysan Veterinary Hospital to improve livestock health and productivity. He also trained 125 veterinarians and veterinary technicians and renovated the Amara City slaughterhouse. For his efforts, Dr. Fabis received letters of appreciation from the U.S. Embassy Agriculture Counselor, the Provincial Directory of Veterinary Hospital and Congressman Joseph Courtney of the Armed Services Committee. FSIS is extremely proud of his dedication, commitment and sacrifice in support of our country, the military and civilian operations in Iraq.
And as some have already witnessed on CBS Evening News, Enforcement Analysis and Investigations Officer and Michigan farmer Gary Tietz as well as 60 other American farmers sent by USDA, traveled to Afghanistan to help with President Obama’s Civilian Surge effort. “These experiences, they change you,” Tietz stated while reflecting on his work with Afghani farmers to help them transition from farming opium poppy to alternative crops like wheat, apples, rice, and melons. Tietz’s full story is available here. Despite the conspicuous danger of his mission, Tietz faced members of neighboring villages to prevent further corruption from opium growth, teach conservation techniques and pass on marketing and business tools to pave the way for economic prosperity.
I could not be more pleased with the strength and fortitude these individuals displayed abroad. They equipped those in need with the skills and knowledge needed to ensure a vital agricultural economy. Through the lenses of FSIS, I appreciate their going above and beyond the call of duty and being part of an amazing story.