THIS year’s Queen’s Birthday honours list has cottoned on to the fact we’ve got some fine fibre boffins in NSW.
Narrabri’s internationally-renowned cotton researcher Dr Robert Mensah was one of 14 government employees in NSW to be awarded the Public Service Medal on Monday - the only one from the state’s farm sector.
Dr Mensah, The Australian Cotton Research Institute Director, has had 26 achievement-laden years with the Department of Primary Industries and is recognised globally as a leader in biologically-friendly pesticides.
When he joined the Australian Cotton Research Institute at Narrabri in 1992, cotton growers were applying over 15 insecticide sprays to cotton crops to control insect pests.
It’s estimated Dr Mensah’s findings on cotton pest management and pesticide innovation has been adopted by 80 per cent of the industry, saving the sector hundreds of millions of dollars and providing countless environmental gains.
He was one of 14 NSW recipients of the Public Service Medal in 2018, and one of 36 nationally.
He’s no stranger to accepting accolades.
Dr Mensah’s achievements also including being named Cotton Researcher of the Year in 1998 and nominated again in 2017, winning a Churchill Fellowship in 2002, being nominated for the 2009 CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science, and being the 2015 Australian Cotton Industry nominee to the International Cotton Advisory Council's World Cotton Researcher of the Year.
He’s had 90 journal articles refereed, supervised 12 PhD student thesis, produced 12 confidential patent articles, 35 international Mission Reports, and 89 grower articles.
Meanwhile, Burrumbuttock Hay Runners founder Brendan Farrell from Queensland was acknowledged with a Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to primary industry.