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No inmate labor for Sparboe Farms

By Staff | Oct 19, 2015

Dan Clark


FORT?DODGE – Sparboe Farms will not be using inmate workers at a local egg-laying facility after all.

A company spokeswoman and a state official both said Sparboe Farms will not put inmates to work. The possibility of using inmate workers was the subject of a presentation to the Webster County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

“At this time, the decision has been made not to participate in the program,” Britta McGuire, a Sparboe Farms spokeswoman, said Wednesday.

McGuire said the company’s managers made that decision last week, but went ahead with a Tuesday morning presentation to the board of supervisors anyway.

Keith Dencklau

“I think we were just invited to attend and we attended,” she said of the meeting.

Dan Clark, the director of Iowa Prison Industries, said company officials notified him on Wednesday that they would not be taking part in the inmate worker program.

According to information presented to the board of supervisors Tuesday, inmates from the North Central Correctional Facility in Rockwell City would work as packers at the Sparboe Farms facility north of Fort Dodge. Clark told the board that 10 inmates at a time would work there.

Clark told the supervisors that Sparboe Farms requested the inmates because it could not find enough workers.

He and prison Warden Cornell Smith inspected the egg-laying facility to check for security concerns.

Webster County Supervisors Keith Dencklau and Bob Singer said they left Tuesday’s board meeting with the understanding that Sparboe Farms was going to hire inmates.

“The way I took it is they were going to employ some prison inmates and pay them $10 an hour,” Dencklau said Wednesday.

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