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The future is bright for Eudunda – a finalist in SA’s Ag town of the year

Photo Grant Schwartzkopff

Nestled in the heart of South Australia, Eudunda is stepping into the spotlight as a finalist in the SA Ag Town of the Year.
Known locally as the “Valley of Hidden Treasures,” this charming town is a delightful blend of history, creativity, and rural charm.

Eudunda’s tale traces back to the late 19th century when it played a crucial role as a watering hole for cattle and horses making the trek from Western Queensland to South Australia. Recognising the need for something more than just water, Henry Watson took it upon himself to set up a grog shop in 1870, laying the foundation for Eudunda.

Fueled by the thirst of both men and cows, Eudunda holds a special place in the State’s agricultural history. It proudly boasts being the birthplace of the state’s first farming co-operative, born in the 1890s. The co-op was aimed at empowering local farmers through collective action, facilitating transportation and sales of timber, and joint purchasing of goods. Fast forward to today, and Eudunda Farmers are thriving, overseeing numerous Foodland and IGA stores across South Australia.

For all of its rich history, Eudunda isn’t stuck in the past, it’s a town that’s evolving and moving forward. The community is a powerhouse at supporting a variety of primary industries, from sheep and cattle to grain, pork, and chickens. It’s not just your run- of-the-mill farming operations in Eudunda either. Ward Councillor Debbie Hibbert, who is passionate about her little town says innovative farming practices are not only embraced, but celebrated by the forward thinking farmers of Eudunda. Abelways Farms are leading the way with regenerative practices, farming free-range happy chickens, turning them into delicious and more nutritious food options.

Footeside Farms produces quality native foods, thinking outside the square with products harvested, processed and packaged on-farm, and fourth-generation grain and livestock producer, Jason Pfitzner created his award winning “Root Boot”, a tool to improve crop seeding, in his shed. Other leading manufacturing and engineering companies supporting the Agricultural Sector, like Reinman, Schultz Industries, and Demot, also contribute to Eudunda’s industry diversification.

Along with Eudunda’s Agricultural pursuits, it’s also a gateway to some of South Australia’s most famous tourist spots. Just a stone’s throw away from the Barossa and Clare Valleys,  the Riverland, and historic mining areas like Burra and Kapunda, Eudunda invites travellers to explore the beauty that surrounds it.

Literary enthusiasts will appreciate Eudunda’s claim to fame as the home of Colin Thiele, a beloved Australian author and educator. Known for classics like “Storm Boy” and “Blue Fin,” Thiele’s legacy lives on through sculptures and silhouettes of his iconic characters that greet visitors at the town’s entrance and features on the incredible silo art. For art lovers, Eudunda is a haven of creativity. The town’s streets and gardens are adorned with eye-catching art and mosaic displays, creating a vibrant town canvas.

Eudunda is a testament to the enduring spirit of rural South Australia. It invites visitors to enjoy the simplicity of life, with hospitality, friendliness, and its surrounding beauty while showcasing the power of community, cooperation, creativity and innovation. The future seems bright for the little agricultural town which Councillor Hibbert proclaims is “an amazing and welcoming community who band together.”

As Eudunda competes for the title of SA Ag Town of the Year, it’s not just a competition for this town, it’s a celebration of everything that makes Eudunda a truly special and remarkable place.

Click here for another South Australian Ag Finalist story.

 

 

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