Cotton Research & Promotion Program
Dr. Ruth Benerito
New Orleans, LA
Dr. Ruth Benerito (deceased) was crucial in leading the development of wrinkle-free cotton during her time as a U.S. Department of Agriculture chemist in the 1960s. Born in New Orleans, Ms. Benerito received degrees from Tulane University and the University of Chicago before beginning her work for USDA in 1953. For her role in developing “wrinkle-free” (durable press, wash-and-wear) cotton, she was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (2008).
Dr. Johnie Jenkins
Dr. Johnie Jenkins, a native of Barton, Arkansas, is an internationally acclaimed research plant geneticist, who through his 55 years of dedication to the research of cotton breeding, helped make Bt cotton a reality. In 2007, Dr. Jenkins was inducted into the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Science Hall of Fame. The following year, the Arkansas native was honored with the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Senior Professional by President George W. Bush.
The Cotton Research and Promotion Hall of Fame recognizes and honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the Cotton Research & Promotion Program and to the cotton industry in general.