The Agri-Services Division of the Department of Corrections plays a vital role in enabling inmates to learn valuable job skills and work ethics that they can benefit from upon release from custody. On average, 300 inmates work at Agri-Services eleven farms, meat processing center, food processing plant, and food warehouses.
Agri-Services manages approximately 4,000 head of beef cattle on farm units across the state of Oklahoma that encompass over 20,000 acres, of which 14,253 acres are pasture land, 3,200 acres are woodlands, 1,699 acres are cropland, with the remaining 945 acres dedicated to buildings, roads, lagoons, and rivers.
The Agri-Services division manages working agricultural operations at 11 locations across the state. Most of the acreage under divisional control is range and pastureland which is suitable for the production of beef cattle. Much of the land located at the eastern Oklahoma units is covered with trees, while the land located at the western Oklahoma units is predominantly open range and crop land. Due to the diversity in the climate from east to west, many of the units are required to be managed differently from one another, yet all have the same goal of meeting the mission of the division. In many cases the units work closely together to support one another in some capacity.
Agri-Services also manages a meat processing center, a food processing plant, and a dairy/milk processing plant. These production facilities produce a wide variety of food items for inmate consumption.
In addition to the production facilities, there are food warehouses located at two Agri-Services units that distribute products purchased through the Opportunity Buy Program. This program purchases food products for the master menu in semi-truck load quantities at a significantly lower cost than that of the prime vendor. The product is then distributed to all correctional facilities within the State utilizing the existing Agri-Services fleet. This program saved the Department $1,255,860 in food costs during FY 2018.
There are 47 staff members employed throughout the division. Many job classes are present. To become more efficient, the number of staff has been reduced from over 80 to the current level through attrition and reassignment.
The primary income generators for the division are the sales of livestock, meat, milk, eggs, canned and frozen foods, vegetables, small grains, pecans, wood, and leather goods.