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Bushels and Bales

Back to Memoirs and Occasional Papers

Bushels and Bales: A Food Soldier in the Cold War

“One man’s remarkable story…in service to his government, fellow taxpayers, and yes, mankind’s age-old struggle against hunger and backwardness. “

ERIC ROZENMAN, author of Total Jihad

Bushels and Bales: A Food Soldier in the Cold War covers Howard Steele’s encounters with the people, problems, and opportunities in forty-three countries and a variety of U.S. government programs. Along the way, he survived gun-toting Bolivian revolutionaries, Viet Cong artillery fire, deadly anarchy in Sri Lanka, a shakedown by Tanzanian police, kitten-size Taiwanese cockroaches, and sheep’s-eye stew in Saudi Arabia.

Steele recounts his service from 1971 to 1997 on six continents, in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service and predecessor agencies. He discusses training and transferring technology to farmers in less-developed countries and explains how he worked with officials in host countries while dealing simultaneously with Washington bosses.

Both lighthearted and informative, Bushels and Bales offers insights and perspective for students of international development, travel buffs, and those seeking a firsthand account of the joys and disappointments of a life overseas.