Moree’s David Montgomery was recognised for his nearly 40 years of service to the cotton industry at the 2018 Australian Cotton Industry Awards.
More than 1,000 cotton growers and industry representatives attended the 2018 Australian Cotton Industry Awards, held on the Gold Coast on Thursday, August 9, as part of the 2018 Australian Cotton Conference.
Mr Montgomery was one of only five recipients recognised at the awards ceremony, receiving the IPF Service to Industry Award.
The Pallamallawa grower, who had no idea he was even nominated for an award, said it came as a huge surprise.
“I was a stunned mullet,” he said.
“But it’s marvellous; I was absolutely tickled pink.”
Mr Montgomery first grew cotton at Moree in 1979 and in the 39 years since then, he has provided exceptional service and shown significant commitment to the Australian cotton industry.
He has successfully grown cotton across four different cotton regions including Emerald, Darling Downs, Gwydir and Murrumbidgee.
In 1984 Mr Montgomery was instrumental in establishing the Dunavant Ginning and marketing business in Australia, of which he was the CEO for many years. In this role, he implemented marketing options such as forward contracts, which are all standard practice today.
His involvement in cotton industry bodies has been extensive and includes chairman of the Australian Cotton Shippers Association, Cotton Australia director, chairman and deputy chairman of the Australian Cotton Industry Council (ACIC), and CEO of Dunavant Australia, subsidiary of the world’s largest cotton trading company.
Mr Montgomery’s contribution is driven by a desire to achieve the greater good and he has dedicated more than 50 years to the agricultural industry, and nearly 40 to the Australian cotton industry.
“It’s such a good industry; there’s no competition in the sense that everyone wants everyone to do well,” Mr Montgomery said of what he loves most about the cotton industry.
“Everyone’s pointing in the same direction.”
Mr Montgomery said he’s been particularly impressed over the past week by the “quality and smarts” of the young people involved in the industry across the board at this year’s cotton conference.
“There were about 2,300 delegates at the cotton conference this year … all these people with cutting-edge technology ... I think the industry is in great hands and great shape for the future,” he said.
“What’s really nice to see is there are a lot of seriously smart women in the industry, which is great.”
This is the first award of this kind that Mr Montgomery has received in all those years, which he said makes it “the more special”.
“It’s an exciting industry and to have your peers give you recognition is pretty special,” he said.
“I’m very flattered. It makes me seriously happy.”