05/01/2013 01:43 PM
BATON ROUGE – Burl Cain, warden at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, recently spent the afternoon with students from the LSU Agriculture Residential College, or ARC.
As a guest speaker for the AGRI 2900 class, Cain – a 1967 LSU graduate in agricultural business – spoke to students, faculty and staff about how he has used his bachelor’s degree from LSU’s College of Agriculture in his career.
During his time as an LSU student, Cain was a member of Block and Bridle as well as the president of the Agriculture Student Council. After he graduated, he worked for Louisiana Farm Bureau and, afterwards, began his career in the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, working as assistant secretary for agribusiness. In 1981, he began working as the warden of Dixon Correctional Institute, and became the warden of the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola in 1995.
Cain also shared fond memories of his time at LSU, stating that his degree serves him well in his current position. He said that he benefits most from a course on vocational education which taught him how to communicate with and educate others.
Cain also spoke to students about the agricultural side of operations at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. Angola has more than 6,000 acres of farmland, almost all of which is tended to by hand by the inmates. All of the produce consumed at Angola is grown on site, and everything harvested is either eaten or frozen. Cotton, soybeans, okra, squash, cabbage and tomatoes are just a few of the crops raised by inmates. There are also cattle, horses, and mules that are raised on site to assist with the farm work.
“It was interesting to learn about and see how agriculturally self-sufficient Angola is,” said Morgan Richard, a student in the Agriculture Residential College program. “Its agricultural efficiency could be implemented globally in areas of impoverishment and low funding.”
Each fall and spring, select inmates may participate in the Angola Prison Rodeo. This April, in conjunction with Cain’s visit to the ARC class, ARC students, faculty, and staff traveled to the prison for the rodeo and crafts fair. Students were able to purchase goods and concessions, all prepared and hand-made by inmates, and were able to watch the rodeo. While at the facility, ARC students were able to observe a large-scale agricultural production site firsthand.
For more information on the Agriculture Residential College or LSU College of Agriculture, visit www.coa.lsu.edu, or follow the LSU College of Agriculture on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LSUCollegeofAg.
Posted on Wednesday, May 1, 2013