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Guest Blog

Read about different aspects of the industry from a variety of perspectives.

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Throughout high school and college it seemed like everyone I knew had a seasonal or part-time job working at a restaurant. I remember one really fun summer as a cook at my uncle’s restaurant. His managers typically only hired cute girls to work the “front of the house,” so I never made my way up near the customers.

However, I learned a lot of interesting things working in the bar and restaurant industry that summer. In fact, one of the lessons I learned was that it’s not politically correct to call waiters and waitresses by those titles. For those of you who haven’t already heard, the proper term these days is server.

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One day a few years ago, my son brought home a sport’s bag he got at school in freshman gym class. On the bag was a new, at least to me, dairy slogan: Milk – The Ultimate Sports Drink.

One Google search later and I had information about the topic and the seed of a promotion idea.

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In a war zone of diplomacy and development, successes can be far and few between. When we do have one, all the spent effort seems worthwhile, and the terms of success are sustainable.

I often write in this column that one of our primary objectives should be coming home. That means we help those that want help, and then when they are ready to do the lifting on their own, we are done.

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I have just returned to Baghdad from my final leave in Alma, Michigan. During my 16-month temporary duty assignment, or TDY, I was given three two-week rest-and-recuperation breaks outside of Iraq.

The first one in May 2009 found me back home and realizing that I still have a long ways to go on my deployment.

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My work here in Iraq is divided between four ministries. There are two of them that receive most of my attention, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR).

Here, in this article, I will write about the Ministry of Water Resources, the much smaller ministry in terms of personnel and perhaps one with a smaller mandate.

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The work of research and experimentation is important for production agriculture. Advances made arise from discovering new methods, greater efficiencies and solving problems related to constraints. In this article, I write of our efforts at renovating a field station so farmers can increase crop yields and improve their families’ quality of life.

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