He has had two strokes, been hospitalised and will be turning 88 this Christmas but that hasn’t stopped former Warrnambool mayor Frank McCarthy from embarking on another adventure.
The Western District icon, who spent 14 years as mayor of Warrnambool City Council, takes his inspiration from Thomas Edison, the prolific US inventor who held 1,093 patents.
McCarthy started his business career back in the ‘50s with an invention to help him manufacture and deliver ice blocks to campers at Warrnambool’s caravan parks.
Now he’s back with a new endeavour in the form of a cattle feed block.
Uncle Mick’s Licks is a 20kg mineralised block of trace elements and minerals designed to help with lactating cattle.
According to producers, the lactovite block will help increase milk production, bone development and re-production in all livestock.
“It’s named after my Uncle Mick,” Mr McCarthy said.
“My uncle reared me.
“He had bad asthma and he used to make his own licks.”
Mr McCarthy said he’d always known he’d move onto further creations.
“I was going to make horse shoes after ice but the Chinese were making them cheaper,” he said.
“Then I got the idea of making these licks.
“I knew they’d go and they’re going alright, I can’t keep up with them.”
Mr McCarthy’s inspiration came from stories he had heard as a youngster.
“Uncle Mick used to tell me a story about animals in the (mountains).
“The rocks up there would get wet and bits would break off.
“The animals would then risk getting eaten by lions to lick these rocks because they were so good for them.”
The licks have a base of salt and calcium along with molasses and lime which Mr McCarthy said were environmentally friendly.
“We can make them to any specifications too,” he said.
“If your pasture is deficient in any minerals we can add or subtract any.
“There are 750,000 cattle in the Western District.
“We don’t want everyone to have a lick of our block but we want our share.”
According to Mr McCarthy, many livestock licks comprise only salt, while Uncle Mick’s Licks also contain essential nutrients such as cobalt, zinc, iron, copper, manganese and iodine.
However the exact recipe is a closely guarded secret that Mr McCarthy said he will never reveal.
“It’s like KFC you know, we can’t tell you the secret ingredients,” he laughed
Uncle Mick’s Licks are available at various farming suppliers in the region.