FSA Andy

Hello Again!

As I came out to kitchen this first day of February, my wife said she was a little behind as Daisy May needed her nap. I just laughed when I saw the orphaned lamb asleep on her lap after having her morning bottle.

Now the economic value of bottle feeding a lamb really doesn’t make much sense, but the enormous satisfaction and simple joy seem to outweigh that.

Usually Daisy will rump and run around the kitchen trying to figure out why our female boxer mix doesn’t give milk and she learned very quickly to navigate the basement steps. I couldn’t imagine a few years back that my wife would allow such antics in her house, but then baby lambs are so darned cute.

History lesson. Since February is Black History Month, I have come across many inventions of black inventors that have changed for the better so many aspects of our lives from agriculture to medicine.

Did you ever wonder where the saying “I want the real McCoy” came from? Elijah McCoy was born in 1844, the son of escaped slaves. He studied engineering in Scotland and returned to North America to invent a device that would automatically lubricate the moving parts of machinery and steam engines. This led to increased efficiency and less down time, and more importantly, saved many injury or death when trying to oil moving parts on machinery.

This seems like a simple thing today, but it helped revolutionize industrial and agricultural production.

Frederick McKinley Jones was a self-taught mechanic and inventor born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1893 and orphaned at age 9. He later mastered electronics and built a radio station transmitter. He is best remembered for devising a method to refrigerate trucks carrying perishable food which was expanded to include air coolers for ships, planes and trains. He was awarded more than 60 patents, 40 for refrigeration equipment alone. His portable refrigeration systems were used throughout World War II to keep medicine and blood at the right temperature on the battlefields and military hospitals.

We all know someone with a heart pacemaker. Otis Boykin was born in Dallas, Texas, in 1920 and graduated from Fisk University in 1941. He has invented more than 25 electronic devices used in computers and guided missiles. His most noteworthy invention was an electrical mechanism created in 1955 as a regulating device for the first heart pacemaker. His device uses electrical impulses to maintain a steady heartbeat. Paul Boli invented the first pacemaker but it would not have worked without Boykin’s regulator.

These are just three of the many African American inventors whose creative genius has changed our lives for the better.

MILC update. By now most of you have heard that FSA will start making Milk Income Loss Contract payments (Feb. 5) for the September 2012 milk marketings. The 2008 Farm Bill extension provides for a continuation of the MILC program through Sept. 30, 2013.

All dairy producers’ MILC contracts are automatically extended to September 30, 2013. Eligible producers therefore do not need to re-enroll in MILC. MILC operations with approved contracts will continue to receive monthly payments, if available.

Before the October MILC payment can be issued, dairy farmers must complete a new Average Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) form for 2013. Dairy operations that wish to select a different start month other than October 2012 must visit their local FSA office before Feb. 28, 2013, which is also known as the relief period.

As always you can contact your local FSA office for more details. 

That’s all for now,

FSA Andy

About the Author

FSA Andy is written by USDA Farm Service Agency county executive directors in northeastern Ohio. More Stories by FSA Andy

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