sletter #57 (*-*)
Lake Alfred AREC Research Report-CS73-9
September 14, 1973
Editor: W. F. Wardowski
-Harvesting and Handling Section
University of Florida-
S 7 Agricultural Research and Education Center
SP. O. Box 1088
SLake Alfred, Florida 33850
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES
STATE OF FLORIDA, DEPARTMENT OF CITRUS
Sti.rE I-U'^ ^
,g?P~ i t
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may send a dozen stamped, preaddressed
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Newsletter #57 (*-*)
Lake Alfred AREC Research Report-CS73-9
September 14, 1973-WFW-1000
Harvesting and Handling Section
PAC K INGHOUSE NEWSLETTER
YOU ARE LOOKING FOR WORKERS. WE ARE LOOKING FOR JOBS1
First, let me express our sincere gratitude for having my fellow wordmasters and
me on your program today. It is largely thru the efforts of men like Doctor Mohamed
Ismail, Doctor Will Wardowski and Doctor William Grierson, who in their own right as
members of Toastmaster International have made our organization what it is today.
Without the help and encouragement of men like them, the inmate rehabilitation program
in the Florida Division of Corrections would be far from achieving a goal of worthwhile
employment of inmates while doing the remainder of their sentence imposed upon them by
our courts, and thusly relieve some of the pressure upon the state and the communities
where the families of these inmates live, help the inmate into a worthwhile self
sustaining position in the community and thereby, relieve part of the ever mounting
drain on the fiscal policy of the state welfare rolls which now support so many of our
less fortunate citizens.
Ladies and gentlemen: I would like to introduce to you my fellow wordmasters from
Avon Park Correctional Institute (APCI) at this time so that you may get to know us.
Would you gentlemen please stand and introduce yourselves to the assembly telling them
who you are and what you are presently doing at APCI. (Editors note: 3 inmates and the
Gavel Club sponsor introduced themselves from the audience.) Thank you gentlemen. To
each of you here today, I would simply say this. You have numerous jobs which you need
qualified people to staff. We are not looking for sympathy or a handout. No, we are
just convicts looking for a job. A job which offers a decent living wage, and a job
with self-respect, a chance to straighten out our lives and once again to become a
member of the free society as a self-sustaining member of the community.
It is the aim of the IMPACT TEAM of the Gavel Program at APCI, an affiliate of
Toastmaster International that we are with you today to inform you of a situation that
now exists in the citrus industry that I am sure you are all aware of. That is the
problem of securing reliable and worthwhile employees, not on a seasonal level, but
rather on a year around basis, and thereby relieving some of the anxiety of the individt
.grove owner, the packinghouse owner and operator, and lastly, the individual processor
of the many citrus products on the market today. To put the problem in the proper
prospective, ladies and gentlemen, you are engaged in the growing, selling, processing,
and marketing of the State's multimillion dollar citrus industry. You have a responsi-
bility to the individual grower to harvest his crop at the most opportune time, to insure
that his crop receives the top dollar for his time and effort, and lastly to insure
that he has the necessary labor to fulfill the rigid time schedule to insure that the
packer and processor has the picked fruit at his place of operation on time and in good
Up to now it has been the policy of the individual to recruit seasonal crop pickers
and factory laborers from just about any one who applies for a fruit picker or laborer
for plant employment. Some of you have employees who have worked for you for a long
time, but the general rule is that some of them work only when they want to and here
in lies the problem of continued expert and reliable labor in the field. It is not
impossible to have a crew report one morning 90 strong and pick for a half a day, and
in the afternoon discover that you have only 45 left who are still interested in pickinE
IPresentation at Twelth Annual Citrus Packinghouse Day, Agricultural Research and
Education Center, Lake Alfred, Florida, September 5, 1973.
September 14, 1973
your fruit. This only leads to uncertain probability that on the morrow, you will
not have 30 willing and able men to pick fruit for your dayb quota for the packer or
processor. So where does that leave us. It is a problem that we are attempting to
bring to your attention.
For the individual grove owner, the packinghouse operator, and the market in
general there exists a labor force so great and diversified that you could handpick
the kind of person who, if he could gain your trust and confidence, would make a better
employee than most of the walk-in type of job applicants. This labor force contains
most of the individual skills needed in the citrus industry today, and that to attempt
to name them would be like reading the occupational manual of employee skills and trades.
I would like to give you an example. In one of the correctional centers you could obtain
the following employees who would, if they were given the chance, enrich your plant
operation with any one of, or most of the skills you now have working for you. You
could have an expert office worker skilled in any facet of office procedure and
machine operation; you could have truck drivers from jeep type on up to the largest
semi-truck and trailer type; you could have your pick of welders, farm machinery
mechanics and operators, general labor and almost any type of skilled and unskilled
individual you could ask for. You could, if........ If only you were to ask for them.
They, in turn, would give you an honest day's work for an honest day's pay.
They in turn would use this wage to repay part of the upkeep by the State,in expenses
incurred keeping them in prison, and the rest used for the support of their families
and relieve the pressure of having their families on welfare rolls of the county.
To qualify this statement, let me for just a moment go back into history and perhaps
we can discover what has brought about this reversal in the treatment and punishment
of our prison inmates.
Centuries ago, and it has lasted up to the 20th century, the policy has been lock
them up in cells, often a dismal and unhealthy place and thereby isolate them away from
the world, its people, and his family. In other words, forget about them. This has
always been and still is in some parts of the country the accepted way of punishment
and treatment of inmates by the penal systems and more so in some parts of the world.
The policy of lock them up, forget about them ideas of yesteryear are almost forgotten,
and in the last part of the 19th and this part of the 20th century has seen a slow
moving away from these policies of crime and punishment. Today, the Florida Division
of Corrections has corrective as well as educational programs that, if given the chance,
will make the old cruel and inhumane policy of yesterday totally obsolete in the penal
system as we know it today.
This policy is centered in the Community Release Work Centers throughout the State.
This is where you will find your ready and willing to work labor force. Not by
conscription of force, but by self volunteers of the State penal system who have asked
for and been approved for a way to repay society for their transgressions of the law.
They ask only that they get the one and only one chance to start their lives over again
and this time in an atmosphere of complete trust and understanding by a sympathetic
This is hard to understand in the presence of so many states having a rising crime
rate today. But if you apply the principle of removing the cause, you also remove the
temptation to violate the law. If these men are given a chance to return to society,
return with a job to support themselves and their families, instead of being turned
loose with $75.00 and a bus ticket in their pocket, which in these days of inflation
would last only one day, you have removed one of the newly released inmates temptations
to return to a life of crime. You have given him something to work for. You have made
him feel that he is welcome back into society as a useful member and a self-sustaining
one. He is able to hold his head high in self-respect, and he will also give you his
employer an honest day's work for an honest day's pay which you pay him. I ask you now,
September 14, 1973
isn't this a better way of treating the transgressors of the law, than just lock them
up and forget about them?
Just remember, it costs $5.81 per day or $2,120.65 a year to keep a man locked up
in prison doing nothing. If he is out working to support his family while serving his
sentence, he is saving the Tax Rolls approximately $3.50 per day, and also repaying
society for his transgressions. Which would you rather see in this era of prison
reform in the State of Florida? To answer my own question, I would prefer the latter.
To recap this talk on labor, and the State penal inmate, I would like to bring a
few worthwhile ideas into focus.
ONE: What you as a potential employer can do to alleviate some of your labor problei
FIRST: Locate the nearest correctional facility and make known
a listing of jobs open in your plant facility or operations.
SECOND: Contact the Community Work Release Counselor there to find out
just how many inmates are available for your employment.
THIRD: Go out and talk with these men and let them know just how
interested you are. If you do these three things, then
you have solved the major labor problems in your business.
TWO: After you hire these men, you will find out that the following will immediate
become evident to you.
FIRST: The inmate will always be on time and sober.
SECOND: He will do his work as you have laid it out for him.
THIRD: Your production rate will increase and loss and
spoilage will decrease.
Of course, you will now want to ask me the following questions. What about my
family, my children, my home, my car, my business? With all these convicts running
loose, I'm afraid for them. To this, I simply say, for an inmate to be considered for
community work release, he has to undergo so thorough a screening and investigation,
that you would think the FBI is conducting a major election scandal inquiry. Then,
and only then, is he approved for work release and he can come and work for you.
In the history of the work release program at APCI, there has never been a
molesting or a theft or assault by any of our community work release workers.
I have discussed with you your problems, and I have given you, I hope, a solution.
To drive my point home, I would like to give you some statistics for Ben Hill Griffin,
Flo-Cal, and The Davis Fruit Company in Avon Park. These three companies have hired
a total of 595 inmates year around with a gross annual payroll of $650,649.00. Of this
$161,451.00 was paid back to the State for care and upkeep of the inmates. $89,554.88
was paid in income and social security taxes. But still more impressive $81,216.87
went to the support of the inmate's families and they still saved $191,851.46 in the
bank for their eventual release from prison.
These are facts. I hold in my hand supporting documents and letters from personne.
managers of the respective companies and financial statements of the Division of
September 14, 1973
And, so ladies and gentlemen: Don't take my word for this, or for anything I
have said. Call any one of these companies and verify these facts for yourself.
Remember: We're just inmates looking for a job. A job with a responsibility,
a self-sustaining job, and a job you will be glad you gave an inmate of our institutions.
A job which will return us to society a better man, a self-supporting member of the
community in this, the land of free enterprise.
The Gavel Program, APCI
c/o H. C. Kelley, Superintendent
P. 0. Box 1100
Avon Park, Florida 33825
Having employed inmates, I know the type of program Mr. Burns so eloquently described
can benefit inmates, employers and society. Similar programs are available in other
states and other countries. If you are not in Florida check with your local prison
The problems of released prisoners alluded to by Mr. Burns are indeed large. These
men (and women) have a great incentive to excel in their jobs. They do not want to go
back to prison.
Since Packinghouse Day, I have been asked, "Did Burns mean pickers and laborers?"
Yes, he meant laborers and accountants and business managers and salesmen and mechanics
and truck drivers, and any other skill you can name. If you have unfilled jobs in
Florida get the list of Community Correctional Centers (see Available Publications)
and contact your nearest Center.
RECYCLING EMPTY PESTICIDE DRUMS
Evans Cooperage Co., Inc., P. O. Drawer 68, Harvey, Louisiana 70058, telephone
504, 366-8571 will recycle empty pesticide drums. They have the equipment to clean the
drums and are always in the market for them. A letter from Robert Evans, President,
said in part:
"We are able to pick up and process 55 gallon drums ranging in gauges
between 16 and 20 which covers most of the 55 gallon drums that are
used for pesticides.
'bur large trucks hold 392 55 gallon drums, and it is necessary in most
instances that we pick up full loads in a place as far away as Florida.
The only exception to this would be in instances where we may have a load
moving into Florida returning empty.
"It, however, is not necessary that we pick up a load at one location, merely,
that we are able to pick up a full load by accumulating from several locations
within a general area. At times we are able to pick up the 30 gallon drums
depending again upon the demand and whether or not we have a load moving into
a particular area."
September 14, 1973
Available from Dr. W. F. Wardowski, AREC. Lake Alfred, P. 0. Box 1088, Lake Alfred,
"Twelth Annual Citrus Packinghouse Day" September 5, 1973 Program and Abstracts.
"Chilling injury of stored limes and grapefruit as affected by differentially
permeable packaging films." By W. F. Wardowski, W. Grierson, and G. J. Edwards.
HortScience 8(3): 173-175. 1973.
List of Community Correctional Centers, Florida Division of Corrections. See
article by Mike Burns and editorial comment for details.
Available from Earl Bowman, ARS, USDA, 102 Agricultural Engineering Building, University
of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611.
"Automatic produce-bagging machine that uses factory-roll polyethylene net
tubing." By Earl K. Bowman and John C. Teele. ARS-S-18. July 1973.
Available from Dr. Virgil Wodicka, Head, Bureau of Foods, Food and Drug Administration,
200 C Street, SW, Washington, D. C. 20204.
"Food Safety in 1973" By Virgil 0. Wodicka. Address to 64th Annual Convention of
the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association, White Sulphur Springs, West
Virginia. May 14, 1973 and published in Food Product Development, July-August, 19
Available from USDA, 2120 Camden Road, Orlando, Florida 32803.
"Exporting Florida grapefruit to Japan--an evaluation of new
and decay-control treatments" By Philip W. Hale and John J.
Packinghouse Day, Lake Alfred, Florida, September 5, 1973.
This public document was promulgated at an annual cost
of $201.60, or two and one-half cents per copy to inform
county agricultural directors, ranchers, and growers of
research results in harvesting and fresh fruit handling