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‘Wild’ Wudinna in the running for SA Ag Town of the Year

Affectionately known as Wonderful Wudinna, the little town with a big heart has secured a spot in the top three finalists for “SA’s Agricultural Town of the Year”, alongside Bordertown and Eudunda.

Travelling on the Eyre Highway, one of the last things you’d expect to see is a large majestic granite sculpture, but Aussie’s obsession for “big things” reaches all corners, even to remote towns like Wudinna. “The Australian Farmer” built by Marijan Bekic in 2009, is a tribute from the community to past, present, and future farmers and is a major tourist attraction for the area.

Wudinna is also known as where the ‘Wild’ begins and takes credit for introducing ‘Wildness on the Eyre Peninsula’ in the development of the new EP brand– ‘The Wild Side’.

But Wudinna isn’t just a catchphrase or place with a giant sculpture, its people and community are treasured by those who take a step on the Wild Side and settle their roots in the remote town. Described as a family-friendly, safe, and idyllic place to raise children, it’s like stepping back in time with the security of a bygone era.

Despite the nostalgia, today Wudinna is a thriving centre servicing the surrounding wheat and sheep farmers. However,  Wudinnians recognise that Agriculture cannot grow in isolation. The town is known as the ‘go-to place’ on the Upper Eyre Peninsula and collaborates with other emerging industries such as hospitality, tourism and mining to attract the workforce and investors to coexist with Agriculture into the future.

Encouraging the younger generation to embrace the industry their town is built upon, the Area School’s Ag Program, together with support from a wide range of community members and local businesses, has gone ahead in leaps and bounds, giving local kids the opportunity to study Agriculture in their home town, rather than leaving the area to study at Ag Schools further afield.

Photo by Bec Smart – Smarty Pants Photography

Some years, not enough of the wet stuff falls on Wudinna and they have certainly seen their fair share of tough times, but a collaboration known as AIR EP is leading the way as an important professional farmer-owned organisation. There are a host of projects underway from Frost Tactics, Building Drought Resilience and Crown Rot Management with AIR EP being the front runner to educate and help growers maintain a robust and thriving agricultural industry now and into the future. With the EP producing between 40-45% of South Australia’s wheat, innovation, support and research is crucial for the district’s future.

There’s no doubt that Wuddina will ooze its country outback charm and innovation as the judges take the long trip West at the end of September to see if Wild Wuddina has what it takes to be crowned “SA Agricultural Town of the Year”.

Click here for another South Australian Ag Finalist story.

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