Ralph has spent a lifetime working in the cotton industry and in 2020 was awarded as a Member of the Order of Australia “For significant service to primary industry through research and innovation in a range of executive roles in the cotton sector”, recognition of his significant role in the development of the industry in the North West of NSW and commitment to cotton research. Ralph started as an agronomist in 1960 at the then newly opened Narrabri Experiment Farm (now the Australian Cotton Research Institute). Two years later, he was dispatched to the University of California to learn what he could about the cotton industry from established American growers.  In 1965, he went and worked for Auscott Limited (helping set up the Auscott Scholarship in 1969). He later served on a number of cotton-related boards devoted to improving the sustainability of the industry and was a farm manager in Trangie, NSW from 1970 to 1981. Ralph was the founding board member of Cotton Seed Distributors from 1967 to 2005 and was a founding member of the Co-operative Research Centre for Cotton.  Ralph was also a member of the organising committee of the International Cotton Advisory Committee between 1986 and 2000 and was the convenor of the first World Cotton Research Conference in Brisbane in 1994. He was also the Executive Director of the Cotton Research and Development Corporation from 1990 to 2004 and a committee member of the Australian Cotton Conference for 22 years and the chair in 2000.