Almost 5,000 public votes were cast to choose five finalist communities from 70 nominations across South Australia for the 2020 Agricultural Town of the Year award.
Kapunda in the Mid North, Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula, Parndana on Kangaroo Island, Pinnaroo in the Murray Mallee and Woodside in the Adelaide Hills were chosen by the public for their connections and contribution to agriculture.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said it was exciting to see the public get involved in casting their vote for their favourite AgTown.
“After the success of the inaugural AgTown of the Year award, we decided to get the public even more involved through voting for the top five finalists,” Minister Basham said.
“It is fantastic to see a cross section of agricultural commodities and regional communities in the final five representing the South Australian regions of the Mid North, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, the Murray Mallee and the Adelaide Hills.
“This year has been challenging for all agricultural industries with drought, bushfires and coronavirus market disruptions. Our regional towns and communities often support our agricultural industries and help them to manage through hardship and prosper.
“This award allows us to recognise the important role our farmers and the agriculture sector plays in our everyday lives, whether it’s growing grains to make our bread, crushing grapes to make premium wine or milking cows to produce our valued dairy products
“In fact, South Australia’s primary industries and agribusiness generated $15.2 billion in revenue in 2018–19.
“That’s why we are focussing on boosting our food, wine and agribusiness through our Growth State initiative, which aims to grow these sectors to $23 billion by 2030.”
As the next part of the award program, an independent panel of experienced judges will visit the five finalist towns early next year.
The panel is made up of Hon Rob Kerin (Primary Producers SA & Regional Development Australia), Mayor Erika Vickery OAM (South Australian Region Organisations of Councils), Andrew ‘Cosi’ Costello (South Aussie with Cosi), Belinda Cay (AgCommunicators), Joe Keynes (Livestock SA), Lisa Bennier (Wine Grape Council of South Australia) and John Rothwell (Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of SA).
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the South Australian Regional Showcase was postponed for this year. The AgTown of the Year award winner will be crowned at the revised Showcase early in 2021.
For more information on the AgTown of the Year award, visit www.agtown.com.au