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Recovery and resilience is at the heart of Woodside


The Adelaide Hills town is one of five finalists for the 2020 AgTown of the Year Award, which will be revealed at Solstice Media’s Regional Showcase Awards tonight at O’Leary Walker Wines in Clare.

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Woodside is at the epicentre of agriculture in the state’s fertile Adelaide Hills with its diverse mix of apples, grapes, strawberries and equine industries.

And it has found strength in that agricultural community as locals pull together to recover from the 2019 Cudlee Creek fires that damaged homes, vast swathes of vineyards, livestock and properties.

Video: Jordan Agutter

Woodside’s Junior Citizen of the Year Sebastian Ascott, nine, and his mother Carly are among those working to support children affected by the devastating fires, establishing Bushfire Kids Connect to draw the community together.

“Red Cross and the CFS are helping this child-led group to increase that connection to community,” Carly says of the program they hope to roll out nationwide.

As Woodside recovers as an important hub for businesses driving primary industries growth, its high rainfall and productive soils continue to propel its highly successful wine, livestock, cherry, apple and pear industries forward.

Among its iconic business are Bird in Hand Winery with its plans for a $30 million upgrade for its wine and culinary experience, Woodside Cheese Wrights award-winning produce made from milk sourced from local dairies and Elite Netting.

“There’s so much healing that needs to go on in this town, but I know there’s such a strength and I think that comes from being an agricultural town, the community knows this land,” Mayor Jan-Clair Wisdom says.

The Agricultural Town of the Year Award, proudly presented by the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) 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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