Five regional towns vie for inaugural South Australian Ag Town of the Year Award

Five regional agricultural towns now have a chance at a new award that recognises different towns' contribution to South Australia's industry. Photo: Supplied
Five regional agricultural towns now have a chance at a new award that recognises different towns' contribution to South Australia's industry. Photo: Supplied

A handful of country towns in the region out of 43 in the state are fortunate in their nominations under the inaugural South Australian Ag Town of the Year Award.

The new award forms part of the 2019 South Australian Regional Showcase program which aims to highlight the vital role agriculture and other primary industries play in regional communities.

Regional towns put forward are: Angaston, Gawler, Greenock, Kapunda and Tanunda.

Angaston

Angaston has been nominated because it has a proud agricultural background as part of the Barossa Valley.

Janice Guerra's nomination highlighted the town by saying: "With a large number of varying agricultural pursuits undertaken in the area, Angaston sets the scene for the best of country living combined with the harsh realities of agricultural life.

"Many prominent families connected to the wine industry call Angaston home," Mrs Guerra said.

"Along with many smaller, but nonetheless important, agricultural undertakings in the area new innovative sustainability strategies over many years means Angaston continues to thrive and grow."

Gawler

Gawler has been nominated because it has innovative agriculture industries in the region and achieves an integration of country lifestyle in a big town setting.

A blend of country and city living, Gawler proudly promotes local produce each weekend at its farmers markets. It also has wonderful biodiversity areas in the town and major farming and research facilities within a short drive.

Greenock

"Our Greenock Village Community Association is a vibrant group of residents enthusiastic about promoting our town and bringing the community together," Jersey Fresh business owner Lisa Werner.

"Our little school is thriving off of the employment opportunities in our town and on the surrounding properties with agriculture and viticulture being a major employer."

Kapunda

"The flow-on effects from these technologies are filtering down to growers and farmers, resulting in increased animal consumption, improving their performance, and value," Kapunda Business Alliance member Michael said.

"There's been several co-ordinated initiatives to create better access for road trains, improving access to markets all over Australia and worldwide such as the Middle East and Asia.

"Nothing can stop our farmers or growers either. Even after the devastating Pinery bushfires in 2015, most were quick to get back on their fee with help from our local community.

"Collaboration on a national level ensures knowledge is shared and future generations can continue the legacy of agricultural in our wonderful region," he added.

Tanunda

Resident Janet Hardman through her nomination said: "Restaurant and food outlets, accommodation facilities, cellar door experiences, food, wine and music combinations (and) festivals based around the wine industry all help to make this town and the surrounding area the place to be".

"It is a beautiful landscape with so much to offer the broader community, be they locals or visiting tourists," Mrs Hardman added.

Meanwhile, Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Tim Whetstone said the long list of nominations highlighted the important role the state's regional towns play.

"This award is designed to showcase innovative and diverse towns where primary industries play a critical role in the community," he said.

"Agriculture does not just happen on a farm, it is often deeply ingrained into the ethos of the community of regional towns.

He further explained how the winner of the award will be a town that has demonstrated excellence and support for its farming industries over the past 12 months, with the underpinning goal of growing primary industries and driving regional development.

An independent panel assessment will now choose five finalists and the Ag Town of the Year winner will be crowned at the SA Regional Showcase evening to be held in October.