UC Davis greenhouse expert Garry Pearson reports back from Iraq

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Twice this year, Garry Pearson has gone to Iraq as part of a program to help Iraqis grow more vegetables. He oversees about 160 research greenhouses at UC Davis, and an ag project recruited him as a technical expert. On today’s Davisville he talks about what he saw. Pearson wanted to “see what’s going on [after the U.S. war] ... It’s my own natural curiosity. I know I have technical skills that can be passed on to different people, if it’s presented in the right way. On the ground my experience was just meeting the people everyday, the day-to-day folks. I got the opportunities to be out and to mix.”

He spent his time in Kurdistan, the less-violent northern part of the country, working with Kurds, Shias and Sunnis. Pearson describes both tension and reasons to hope—hotel guards with AK-47s, and a lively democracy. A few years ago he went to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Afghanistan is probably next. “Davis,” he says near the end of the show, “needs to get out and see the rest of the world.”

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