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Eyre Peninsula’s Wudinna Named Ag Town of the Year 2023

Wudinna in South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula was named the 2023 Agricultural Town of the Year last night at the Vale Brewing Restaurant and Bar on the grounds of the Beresford Estate, McLaren Flat.

Taking out this year’s Ag Town of the Year Award ahead of two other finalists, Bordertown and Eudunda, Wudinna was selected following visits by a panel of independent judges.

The annual Ag Town of the Year award recognises SA’s towns that are excelling in agricultural practices and the flow on effect they have on communities.

Wudinna, a town of just 548 people, celebrates agriculture as a historical and future strength with 73.5 per cent of all its exports generated by agriculture and 43.8 per cent of the town’s workforce employed through the sector.

The judges commended Wudinna’s outstanding community engagement, especially with the strong support offered to its youngest members to embrace agriculture through their education.

Wudinna was praised for its ongoing initiative in the areas of research and development with an active cohort of farmer-led grower groups contributing to agricultural research to ensure it remains current and relevant.

The judges recognised the community’s efforts in implementing tourism initiatives designed to attract visitors whilst still highlighting the importance of agriculture such as the Australian Farmer Statue, the 70-tonne sculpture which is one of Australia’s Big Things and a permanent legacy to farmers and agriculture in the state.

Tourism Minister, Clare Scriven said “It is clear to see why the town is affectionately known as ‘wonderful Wudinna’, with its leadership in the agriculture sector complemented by strong community support.

The town is a major service hub for the Eyre Peninsula’s agricultural sector and a significant contributor to the region’s GDP through grain and livestock production, as well as a centre for research innovation.”

The Wudinna community is to be commended for its resilience, its track record of using the ‘good times’ to prepare for the ‘bad’ by putting together strategic plans and for leading from the front to leverage its natural advantages to address challenges.

A total of 49 nominations were reduced to a top 11 through public voting. The judging panel narrowed the field to the final three towns.

The four previous Ag Town of the Year winners have been Cleve (2019), Pinaroo (2020), Kimba (2021) and Mypolonga (2022).

The Ag Town of the Year winner announcement is a highlight of the Regional Showcase Awards that celebrate local regional journalism’s coverage of the achievements of individuals, groups, and businesses across regional South Australia.

Also announced at the awards is the Regional Resilience Award, sponsored by the Government of South Australia, which was won this year by a story on a photo exhibition by Riverland Wine at the National Wine Centre.

The story on Riverland Wine’s photo exhibition explored the response by the wine industry and the wider community to the recent challenges facing the Riverland wine grape industry.

 

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