Department of Corrections
Tipton's efforts recognized as "Best in Business"
Frankfort, KY – Truman Tipton, branch manager of farm operation/veterinarian for the Kentucky Department of Corrections, has been honored by the American Correctional Association as a “Best in Business” award recipient for 2005. He was nominated by former deputy commissioner J. David Donahue. The award recognizes corrections professionals from throughout the U.S. who are nominated by their state directors. Up to five nominations from each department can be submitted and ACA selects the top 12-18 people from across the country.
Tipton, who spent 25 years in private practice as a veterinarian before joining Corrections three years ago, is credited with transforming the farm program from a “passive operation to an aggressive partner in the state agriculture environment,” said Donahue, who now heads the Indiana Department of Correction.
According to Tipton, the backbone of the four department farms is cattle. At the two larger farms there are between 750 and 800 commercial cattle and 100 true-bred Angus cattle at the two smaller farms.
Tipton continually finds innovative ways to increase the use of the farms and boost revenue. According to his supervisors, much improvement has been made in the department’s registered Angus herd and the use of artificial insemination has increased, resulting in better bloodlines. This has led to excellent sale prices at the DOC’s spring and fall bull sales.
Among the accomplishments cited under his leadership, Tipton has used his experience and contacts to forge relationships with state universities and agencies. He worked with Kentucky State University on an aquiculture project at Northpoint Training Center to stock two ponds with shrimp and tilapia.
“This is the area that Kentucky State University specializes in and they bent over backwards to work with us,” said Tipton.
Tipton and his staff have also worked with Murray State University to conduct experiments with feed and grass trials. MSU and the Department of Corrections will also collaborate through the use of university bulls for artificial insemination and the department’s calves as recipients of the university’s embryos.
Under Tipton’s leadership, Kentucky Correctional Industries Farms has partnered with the forestry service to raise Christmas trees.
All these endeavors have provided more inmate jobs and increased revenue.
“I like the excitement of something different every day,” said Tipton. “We have 5,500 acres under our watch so there’s something going on at all times.”