Since entering the office of Sheriff, Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods has been evaluating the many needs of Marion County's vast agricultural community. According to the Florida Agriculture Crime Intelligence Unit, Marion County produces approximately $188 million in agricultural exports annually, the highest in North Central Florida and many surrounding counties, but most of their agricultural communities are known to work some type of agricultural call during their shift almost weekly.
Because of this, Sheriff Billy Woods has Created an Agricultural Deputy position at the MCSO. Corporal Tim Ogletree has been selected to fill this new position, given his past experience in the agricultural field. Ag Deputy Ogletree will be following up on criminal agricultural-related cases generated by patrol, assist in missing or loose livestock incidents, and will work alongside Marion County Animal Control as needed. One of the main missions Ag Deputy Ogletree will be focusing on is establishing and maintaining MCSO's new Ag Watch program, a program where farm and ranch owners can register their properties in order to assist the Sheriff's Office in returning their at-large livestock in the case of fence failure or other incidents.
The MCSO will be assisting Ag Watch signs to each participant to be placed on the fences of their properties in order to assist deputies or civilians if livestock are loose in the area. Anyone looking to report loose livestock can call the number for the Marion County Public Safety Communications Center listed on the sign (352-732-9111) and relay the farm number to the dispatcher. This will allow the Communications Center to communicate with the property owner and alert them to the impending issues with their livestock and/or farm.