COLUMBIA, S.C (AP) - South Carolina Army National Guard soldiers are toting rifles and teaching soil conservation while wearing combat gear in Afghanistan.
The unit is halfway through a yearlong deployment. Nine states have such agricultural development teams in Afghanistan, helping farmers improve crops and build markets.
They are the second such unit to serve in Afghanistan. The third team deploys in early 2013.
Gov. Nikki Haley's husband, Michael, an officer in the Guard since 2006, is making his first overseas deployment as part of that team.
Soldiers say they rely on much of their home-grown expertise while working with the local farmers.
Many crops such as corn, wheat, barley and cotton, as well as vegetables such as tomatoes, okra, corn and black-eyed peas, grow in both countries.