February is time to reflect on black history and accomplishments

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Hello Again!

Last week’s rain on top of the packed snow has made all farm work and any outings a challenge. Haying cows and sheep has taken on a new sense of caution on my farm as most machinery and ice don’t mix well. So far we have only gotten stuck twice on our icy hills. Mud might not be so bad after all but I’m sure I’ll change my mind when it gets here.

Now that February is upon us, we here at USDA join with our fellow Americans in the observance of Black History Month. Most folks my age remember the beginning of Black History Month as 1976. The origin of the first observance of black history actually began back in 1900 when Mary Church Terrell began the practice of honoring Frederick Douglass on his Feb. 14 birthday.

Studying blacks

Carter G. Woodson earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University, where he established the Study of Negro Life and History in 1915 and the Journal of Negro History a year later. Dr. Woodson witnessed the celebration begun by Terrell while in Washington, D.C. in 1909 and later, in 1926, began the annual celebration of Negro History Week.

The week later evolved into Black History Month in 1976 — the same year the nation reached its bicentennial. Woodson chose February as Negro History Week to acknowledge the birthdays of two men who made significant contributions to the history of African-Americans — Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

Week of observance

He created this week of observance to bring national attention to the contributions of African Americans throughout American history.

By the time you read this, farm owners will have only two weeks left to make their final yield updates and base reallocation decisions for eligible program crops in the Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs. These are important decisions and will affect your farm throughout the entire farm bill which runs through the 2018 crop year.

Even owners on farms with less than 10 acres of base should visit the FSA office if program crops have been produced on their farms for the crop years of 2008 through 2012, as this could affect future producers on your farm.

FSA offices are very busy at this time and owners and operators should call ahead for an appointment so our staff can better serve you.

That’s all for now,
FSA Andy

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

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