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Ag Town of the Year 2020 finalists revealed


Almost 5000 public votes were cast to choose five finalist communities from 70 nominations across South Australia for the 2020 Agricultural Town of the Year award.

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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 town.

“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.”

An independent panel of experienced judges will visit the five finalist towns early next year to decide the winner.

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).

Solstice Media, the publisher of InDaily, is the media partner for Agtown of the Year and the winner will be announced at Solstice Media’s Regional Showcase Awards, which were postponed until early 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions. The winning town will also be featured in an edition of SALife.

Minister Basham said that programs like Agtown of the Year help recognise the importance of agriculture in the state’s economy.

South Australia’s primary industries and agribusiness generated $15.2 billion in revenue in 2018–19 and the plan is to increase this to $23 billion by 2030, Minister Basham said.

“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,” Minister Basham said.

“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.”

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