John Groninger

John Groninger holds a Ph.D. in Silviculture/Physiological Ecology from Virginia Tech (1995), is Professor of Forestry, specializing in Forest Regeneration, Agroforestry, and Urban Forestry, and serves as Director of International Agriculture at Southern Illinois University.  He served several TDY’s in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2011, primarily in support of watershed rehabilitation and management projects and as coordinator of natural resource management for the Afghanistan Water Agriculture and Technology Transfer project.  He was an instructor for the Agriculture Development for Afghanistan Pre-deployment Training program focusing on Rural Land Use Issues, Practices, and Institutions.

Interaction among foreign forces and local farmers was perhaps never more important for mission success than in Afghanistan over the course of OEF.

In Afghanistan, and across much of the developing world, agriculture is the primary enterprise and key to local food security, as well as national and regional political stability.