Agriculture Secretary Recognizes Robert Glasgow for Service in Iraq

62 honored at USDA headquarters for their efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, June 19, 2012 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently recognized the efforts of 62 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) employees who have helped revitalize the agricultural sectors in Afghanistan and Iraq. Among those honored during a ceremony June 4 was Robert Glasgow of Baton Rouge, La., who served as an agricultural advisor in Iraq from 2009 to 2011.

“I’m honored to recognize these brave and devoted men and women for their tremendous service to the people of Afghanistan and Iraq,” said Vilsack. “These USDA employees have played a vital role in furthering political and social stability throughout the world by building a foundation on which the economies of these countries will prosper.”

USDA agricultural advisors began serving in Afghanistan in 2003 and Iraq in 2006. Their goal has been to help Afghanistan and Iraq rebuild their agricultural sectors by planning and implementing reconstruction and agricultural development projects. Activities vary depending on the needs of the area, but can range from mentoring local agricultural officials to improving food and animal production and marketing systems to veterinary infrastructure, soil and water conservation, and reclamation programs. Advisors working at the national government level help build the capacity of government ministries and collaborate with ministry staff to develop long-term strategies for agricultural development.

In Iraq, Glasgow served as the provincial reconstruction team agriculture liaison at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad for one year. He then served a second year as reconstruction team leader in Babylon Province where he helped more than 5,000 vegetable and fish farmers and beekeepers, especially women, increase production and income by developing agriculture cooperatives. Glasgow retired after 35 years with USDA’s Forest Service in Washington, DC, as a natural resources program manager. He received both his Bachelor of Science degree in forestry and his Master of Science degree in wildlife management from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, La. 

Since 2003, more than 250 USDA personnel have deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. More than 50 agricultural advisors are currently assigned there.

To learn more about USDA’s efforts in those countries, visit


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