Members of the Australian cotton community spanning half a century celebrated the 50th anniversary of Cotton Seed Distributors with a gala dinner in Wee Waa last night.
The birthday at CSD’s ‘Shenstone‘ plant was a historic milestone for CSD and the industry.
Wee Waa based CSD, formed by a handful of growers on April 5, 1967, is today Australia’s sole supplier of cotton planting seed and is one of few independently owned and controlled cotton seed companies in the world.
More than 300 growers, including family members of the first Namoi Valley cotton farmers, CSD staff, researchers, processors, suppliers, consultants and service industries representatives celebrated the event.
Cotton transformed the economy of the Wee Waa district in the early 1960s and laid the foundation for the Australian industry, now acknowledged as the world leader in cotton production.
The cotton industry’s success has been underpinned by the
CSD-CSIRO research and marketing partnership which has seen the continual development of the world’s most successful cotton varieties - more than 100 different varieties since the 1980s.
Among the guests at last night’s function was the first chairman of CSD, Frank Hadley, who moved to Wee Waa with fellow Californian Paul Kahl to launch the cotton industry in the Namoi Valley in 1961 and became inaugural CSD chairman.
The late Mr Kahl’s son James Kahl is the current CSD chairman.
Many old friendships, research and business acquaintances were renewed at the historic gathering.
The group which founded CSD had a vision for the future of the industry, but the reality exceeded even their optimistic expectations.
“We had no idea that CSD would grow to the great business it is now,” said Mr Hadley.