It is with great sadness that CWFS farewells our colleague, mentor and dear friend, Neil Fettell, who died on Saturday, 16 March after a long illness. Neil was a founding member of CWFS in 1998 and has been a strong advocate for agricultural research in our Central West region for most of his life. His passion focused on cropping and farming and he was particularly interested in what contribution research could make to improve agriculture. His impact on agriculture is indisputable and he was regarded as a leader in his field by his peers and organisations such as GRDC and CSIRO to name a few. Neil received a NSW Agriculture Staff Award in 2000 and the 2002 GRDC Seed of Light Award for excellence in communication and extension.
Neil graduated with First Class Honours in Agriculture at the University of Sydney and embarked on a career with NSW DPI in 1974 after winning a CSIRO scholarship to study how to maximize phosphorus use by dryland wheat in the Condobolin region. Neil then completed a masters and doctorate in science.
Neil has been a GRDC panel member, part-time lecturer at the University of New England and recently worked as a Senior Research Advisor for CWFS. Neil was respected by all who knew him and he had the rare ability to comfortably address farmers at a field day as well as present papers to the scientific community.
Neil’s brilliant mind and beautiful nature will be missed; he was always so generous with his time and advice, never failing to calmly help where he could.
We offer our most heartfelt condolences to Neil’s family. He was a wonderful man.