Agri-Services meat plant teaches trade and saves OK taxpayers
MCALESTER, Okla. -- When the relentless Oklahoma sun beats down, these men can find temporary refuge here.
This is the Meat Processing Plant at Jackie Brannon Correctional Center.
The Agri-Services Division handles development, production and distribution of all fresh meats for the Department of Corrections master menu.
“The whole thing started after the 1973 riot,” Production Coordinator Kenny DeGraffenried said. “Now we feed every facility in Oklahoma.”
Fresh, wholesome and nutritious at the least cost possible to the agency. It’s a colossal savings to Oklahoma taxpayers.
“Over 3.3 million dollars last fiscal year. That’s one year,” DeGraffenried said.
The facility typically receives 80,000 pounds of raw materials each week. The inmates blend, stuff and hang a variety of meats.
“Bologna, hot dogs, hot links,” inmate Michael Goodroad said. “We learn how to pack them and the different processes it takes to produce those things.”
The health and and safety of inmates is paramount. The plant follows stringent guidelines provided by the U.S.D.A. and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture.
“We eat it too,” inmate Chris Crowder said. “We want it to be clean and sanitary with everything we do.”
The center operates with 6 staff members and up to 55 offenders.
The men learn valuable trade skills and work ethic before being released back into society.
“It teaches me to get up in the morning and come to work,” one inmate told us. “Maybe I can carry that onto my life when I get out.”
Working together – for the betterment of the inmates and the state of Oklahoma.