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AgTown of the Year 2021 finalists revealed


More than 3200 public votes were cast to choose five finalist towns from 59 nominations across South Australia for the 2021 Agricultural Town of the Year award.

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The five towns in the running to win the award are Kapunda near the Barossa, Mypolonga in the Murray Mallee region, Kimba on Eyre Peninsula, as well as Orroroo and Booleroo Centre, both in South Australia’s Mid North.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said it was exciting to see small agricultural communities make such a strong showing in these awards.

“Every town nominated for this award should be immensely proud of what their community has achieved and will continue to achieve in the face of significant challenges, such as COVID-19 restrictions and drought,” he said.

“Incredibly Kapunda has been a finalist every year since the award was introduced in 2019, which speaks volumes for the community’s support. Kimba has also been a finalist before, and I welcome the addition this year of Mypolonga, Orroroo, and Booleroo Centre to the top five.”

Minister Basham said the award showcases the significance of agriculture to the state.

“The Ag Town of the Year Award recognises the important role our farmers and the agriculture sector plays in the everyday lives of regional communities,” Minister Basham said.

“It is pleasing to have thousands of people again engaged in the awards program, supporting their favourite agricultural town.”

The results of the public vote were quite close, with Bordertown and Beachport from the Limestone Coast, Cummins on Eyre Peninsula, Langhorne Creek from Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island district, and Jamestown in the Mid North all rounding in the top 10.

In the next step of the award program to decide the winner, an independent panel of judges will visit the five finalist towns in October this year.

The panel is made up of John Rothwell (Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of SA), Rob Kerin (Regional Development South Australia and Primary Producers SA), Mayor Erika Vickery (South Australian Region Organisations of Councils), Belinda Cay (AgCommunicators), Nikolai Beilharz (ABC Rural) and Rilka Warbanoff (Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce – 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 on Friday, November 19, 2021 at the Adelaide Hills Convention Centre. The winning town will also be featured in SALIFE magazine.

Winners of the AgTown of the Year Award in the past have been Mallee farming town Pinnaroo in 2020 and Cleve in the Eyre Peninsula in 2019.

Minister Basham said South Australia’s primary industries and agribusiness generated $15.2 billion in revenue in 2018–19, making this sector vital to the wellbeing of the state as a whole.

“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,” Minister Basham said.

“This Marshall Liberal Government has mapped out a strong pathway forward through the Growth State initiative in conjunction with the Regional Development Strategy.”

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