Minnipa and Wudinna nominated for Ag Town of the Year award

NOMINEES: Minnipa and Wudinna have been nominated for the Ag Town of the Year award. Picture: Wudinna District Council
NOMINEES: Minnipa and Wudinna have been nominated for the Ag Town of the Year award. Picture: Wudinna District Council

Minnipa and Wudinna are among 43 towns nominated for the inaugural South Australian Ag Town of the Year Award.

The award has been introduced by the state government to recognise the role of agriculture in regional South Australia and the pair were nominated alongside fellow Eyre Peninsula towns Cleve, Cowell, Cummins, Kimba and Port Lincoln.

Minnipa has been nominated as a well-regarded agricultural community that for the past 103 years has been a hub for agricultural research, beginning with seed weed protection and the adoption of research into farming systems.

Research and agricultural advancements remain highly valued in the town.

More than 130 farmers in the area gathered for the annual Field Day in 2018 to learn more about the best agricultural practices that would lead to results in direct enhancements for individual and regional economic performance.

Minnipa Progress Association president Amanda Cook said the Field Day was one of the highlights of the past 12 months in the town and was actively supported by farmers from the district, which showed the close relationship between the town and the Minnipa Agricultural Centre.

"Minnipa is an excellent example of a small town punching above its weight through good leadership and embracing the opportunities that will take it into the future," she said.

Wudinna has been nominated because of its innovative and forward-thinking nature when it comes to agriculture.

Wudinna mayor Eleanor Scholz said the town had persevered through difficult times.

"The community has seen it all, been through it and survived substantial hard times with a smile on their faces," she said.

"The people, though isolated, are innovative and forward thinking with a positive attitude and deserve accolades for their underlying commitment, not only Wudinna, but Eyre Peninsula as a whole."

Member for Flinders Peter Treloar added Wudinna was known for its crop and livestock farming, and was well known to visitors thanks to its relationship with the Gawler Ranges National Park.

He also praised the Wudinna District Council for being one of the six winners of the inaugural SA Healthy Towns Challenge.

Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Tim Whetstone said the nominations highlighted the importance of regional towns.

"This award is designed to showcase innovative and diverse towns where primary industries play a critical role in the community," he said.

"I've been buoyed by the fantastic response to the award with 43 nominations showcasing a wide range of towns reliant on primary industries from cropping and livestock to fisheries and aquaculture, wine, forestry and horticulture.

"Agriculture does not just happen on a farm, it is often deeply ingrained into the ethos of the community of regional towns."

He said the winner of the award would be a town that had demonstrated excellence and support for its farming industries over the past 12 months, with the goal of growing primary industries and driving regional development.

The winner will be decided by an independent panel.

Five finalists will be named, before the winner is announced at the Regional Showcase.