According to a recent article from the Associated Press (AP), inmates serving time at the Seminole County Jail in Florida have become the newest members of the floriculture industry. In a new program developed by the University of Florida, inmates are being taught “how to find and identify agricultural pests in greenhouses, fields and yards,” stated the AP.
The training has recently come about because farmers are having less and less time to scout for insect and fungus invaders, said Lance Osborne, entomology professor with the University of Florida to the AP.
According to Osborne, the scouting can pay as much as $15 per hour. It has even gotten to the point where some of the inmates have expressed interest in taking classes on the subject after they have served their time.
The inmates are not only working on scouting the pests; they are also in the process of “helping raise bugs that can be released on farms and in fields to kill invasive plants and insects that damage produce,” said the AP.