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Regional Showcase

Parndana: a story of resilience

Regional Showcase

The tight-knit Kangaroo Island community is one of five finalists for the 2020 AgTown of the Year Award, which will be revealed at Solstice Media’s Regional Showcase Awards this Friday at O’Leary Walker Wines in Clare.

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Scores of farm units and volunteers appear as news of a sudden fire threat reaches the Parndana Country Fire Service headquarters.

This tight-knit community is primed to immediately help neighbours after ferocious flames devasted the island earlier in the year.

The grassfire is quickly brought under control, and these incredibly resilient locals return to work on farms where most lost stock, crops and homes such a short time ago.

Despite the devastation, there is much hope among the people of Parndana as they rebuild and nurture their growing global recognition for innovation in agriculture.

“There’s a history of resilience over here,” farmer and local councillor Shirley Pledge says, “it comes from facing adversity.”

Her own sons have returned to the island to farm after studying and travelling, a common theme among the younger generation as they add new layers to the island’s recognised sheep and grain farming with potatoes, marron, beekeeping and cattle.

“We’ve only touched the surface of what we can do on Kangaroo Island,” Richard Trethewey, a second-generation farmer from soldier settlers and the former chair of the first Landcare Group on the island in 1989, says.

“It’s about having commodities so in demand that they sell themselves, we can’t bring the world to Kangaroo Island, but we can sell Kangaroo Island to the world.”

The Agricultural Town of the Year Award, proudly presented by the Government of South Australia and Solstice Media, highlights the vital role that agriculture plays in the regional landscape – being the backbone of most regional communities.

This year the program received 70 town nominations and over 5,000 votes to help determine the Top 5 finalists for the 2020 Agricultural Town of the Year Award to be revealed on Friday, 26 February.

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