What is in this article?:
- Unable to quash the Taliban with bullets alone, U.S. military brass figured they’d try a different approach, one that would bolster the agricultural roots of the desperately poor in southern Afghanistan.
- "You could tell they (Taliban) wanted to do us in, and would have if they could get around all our guns. They knew we’d smoke their heads.”
Following their work in Afghanistan, the agriculture team returned home in February of 2011 and integrated back into regular life for a couple of months.
Since then, Hafer has been working with fellow team-member and Arkansan, Addison Taylor.
Addison’s mother, an estate planning and agriculture attorney in Fayetteville (who is also the daughter and wife of cotton farmers), “had been toying with the idea of putting together a company that would cover the whole farm management picture,” explains Hafer. “Some companies do only certain aspects of farm management. She wanted to put together something that would specialize in everything under one roof: state laws, ag laws, farm management and the rest.”
Hafer was asked to fill the senior farm management position at the newly-formed Farmland Strategies.
“Addison had seen me work overseas in many environments and I’d seen him. We know what each other is capable of.
“So, this summer we started with the ASFMRA (American Society Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers) farm management track. It takes about three years to get – it isn’t easy to achieve and they’re rightfully proud of it.”
Taylor and Hafer also earned real estate licenses and are working on requirements to become accredited farm managers with the Society.
Since then, “we’ve been out beating the bushes. Starting something from nothing is not easy. It can be a bit overwhelming at first. But the thing is, in Afghanistan we really did start something from nothing (so this is not) new to us.”