If you use a cell phone, thank Jessee Russell


Hello Again,

My daughters insisted that I needed a new cell phone for Christmas and so come Christmas morning there was a shiny new iPhone under the tree. Being the tech savvy person I am, I had to have my youngest daughter program the darn thing and set it up for me.

I mean, really, do we need all those different apps? I remember when we got all the local gossip over the party line not Facebook and people actually talked to each other instead of texting.

Guess I’m showing my age but cell phones really have changed the world we live in and the way we communicate with each other. Cell phones have also become an integral part of most farming operations.

We can now keep track of our spouse when working in remote locations.


Break downs in the field are now just a cell phone call away from having help on the way. We can track the incoming weather and make planting and harvesting decisions while on the go.

When traveling we know departure and arrival times with a simple text especially when it involves our children. Even though I don’t like all the things cell phones have brought us, I do understand that they have become an important tool on today’s family farm.

“Father of 2G communications,” Jesse Eugene Russell, was born in Nashville Tennessee in 1948, into a large African American family with eight brothers and two sisters. Growing up in the socially and economically deprived areas of the inner city of Nashville, his early life revolved around sports and not academics.

Academic pursuits

This would all change when he had the opportunity to attend a summer educational program at Fisk University in Nashville, which triggered his intellectual and academic pursuits.

After high school he entered Tennessee State University, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering in 1972. As a top honor student in the School of engineering, Russell became the first African American to be hired directly from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, by AT&T Bell Laboratories.

He went on to earn his master of electrical engineering degree from Stanford University in 1973.

Continuing his work with Bell Labs, Russell took AT&T from the era of car phones into the world of today’s personal cell phone. Jesse was able to do this by coming up with solutions to technical problems which included completely digitizing speech which significantly reduced bandwidth.

This allowed four times the number of people on the same spectrum. This technology took approximately four years for Russell and Bell Labs to complete and was the first digital cellular system in any place in the world thus introducing the U.S. and the world to cellular technology.

Russell has more than 100 patents to his credit with some of the most important being advanced an multi-network client device for wideband multimedia access to private and public wireless networks.

Moving up

Russell’s career and knowledge in wireless technology and standards advanced while he served in a variety of positions at Bell Labs.

He formed his own company starting in 2000 as CEO of incNETWORKS and is one of the leaders in MicroLTE product platforms for 4G.

So the next time you reach for that cell phone, you can thank Jesse Eugene Russell, as one of the pioneers and inventers of cellular technology.

Now where did I leave that darned cell phone? We have already had several phone call from producers who cannot find their 1099-G which lists their income from FSA programs for 2016.

If you have misplaced or do not agree with your 1099-G, you can contact your Local FSA office for assistance.

That’s all for now,

FSA Andy


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