Invented by the brilliant
David Menne (1944-2003)
Chemical Engineer, Mineralogist, Horticulturalist
BSc[ENG][CHEM], Member of Royal Horticultural Society
The Converte story began back in 1996, with a brilliant minerologist and horticulturalist, David Menne.
The word, genius, crops up repeatedly when people talk about David Menne. He was seen as one of the goldmining and agricultural industry’s most gifted innovators. He possessed one of the most astonishing technical minds in the mining industry. His knowledge of mineral chemistry, artificial intelligence and plantfoods were way ahead of their time.
Born in South Africa – the world’s biggest producer of gold – he was a metallurgical consultant who pioneered techniques for extracting gold. More than 100 process plants around the world have been built to designs based on his methods. After graduating in 1967 with a chemical engineering degree from Pretoria University, David Menne created a national program for solid and toxic waste management. He solved three-dimensional mathematical formulas that had never been solved before in these applications. Menne moved to Perth with Edward L. Bateman at a boom time for the gold industry and technology was racing ahead with each new process plant. He later became a consultant, mathematical modeller and chemicals purveyor to the industry. Then his talents moved into technology breakthroughs in agribusiness.
Mr Menne, who grew up on a farm, got the idea for his Universal Plantfood when he was experimenting with methods for removing minerals from rocks without acids. Laboratory experiments and field trials with the resulting plantfood formula, showed startling growth rates and quality levels in both broadacre and horticulture. He had cracked the ability to rapidly increase the levels of nutrients available and transferred to plants during growth, resulting in nutrient rich and more robust plants. His ultimate goal was to produce food that was more nutritious than available today, providing enhanced health for both animals and humans.
Another example of the breadth of his talents, David Menne developed a software system and patented it in the United States. It has potential application in a wide range of areas such as air traffic control, medicine and insurance fraud.
Sadly, Mr Menne died before he could see his dreams fully realised.