Nominations now open for Ag Town of the Year Award

Think your town is an example of an outstanding agricultural community? Nominations for the inaugural South Australian Agricultural Town of the Year Award have now opened.

The new award will form a part of Brand South Australia’s 2019 Regional Showcase program and aims to highlight the vital role agriculture and other primary industries play in regional communities.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone is encouraging regional communities to get behind the award and nominate their town.

“The South Australian Agricultural Town of the Year Award is all about recognising and celebrating the role agriculture and other primary industries such as forestry and fisheries play in the economic and social fabric of our regional communities, and the innovation and diversity that come from these towns,” he says.

Town nominations close on February 15, 2019. An independent panel will assess the nominations before selecting the top five towns to be profiled here on Brand SA News.

The five stories will be published from April through to August and will also be shared across social media networks.

“We want to uncover and share stories of excellence in activities that have the underpinning goal of growing and promoting primary industries and driving regional development,” Mr Whetstone says.

Every year Brand SA News brings you a collection of Regional Showcase stories that share the tales of success of regional businesses, individuals and community groups going above and beyond in their region. With the separate Ag Town of the Year stories, we’ll be shining the spotlight on entire towns that are excelling in agricultural practices.

Brand South Australia CEO Karen Raffen welcomes the new addition to the Regional Showcase program.

“The Regional Showcase shares stories of regional success across our channels to demonstrate to the world how fantastic regional SA is and the Agricultural Town of the Year Award adds a new element to this,” she says.

“We’ll be delving deeper into the stories of entire towns that are excelling in their primary industries practices, and the impact this has on their communities and around the state.”

To access the award guidelines or to nominate, click here.

Regional Showcase stories are made possible by:

Major Partner[logooos_saved id=”5491″]Program Partners

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New state award to recognise top agricultural towns

A new South Australian award announced today will help showcase regional towns that are supporting and promoting the agricultural industry.

The SA Ag Town of the Year Award was announced on National Ag Day (November 21) by Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone during a visit to the Mid North.

The award will form a part of Brand South Australia’s 2019 Regional Showcase Program, which tells stories of success here on Brand SA News, highlighting the achievements of regional businesses, groups and individuals.

Local towns flying the flag for primary industries will be eligible for the new award, which highlights the vital role agriculture plays in regional communities. Guidelines for the SA Ag Town of the Year Award will be released in the near future.

Minister Whetstone says the new award is a unique way to acknowledge farming communities for diversity and innovation and to celebrate agriculture as a part of their social fabric.

“We want to acknowledge the positive impact agriculture has on regional towns and the flow on effect this has on a township, on community members and on the state as a whole,” he says.

“The Ag Town of the Year Award will also highlight how our communities can learn from each other and will enable them to grow.”

Minister Whetstone says primary industries generated $22.5 billion in the agriculture, food, wine and forestry sectors in 2016/17.

In addition to National Ag Day, today is also World Fisheries Day, highlighting the critical importance of global fisheries and ensuring sustainable stocks and healthy ocean ecosystems.

Join in and Thank A Farmer by using the hashtags #ThankafarmerSA, #ThanksafisherSA, #AgDayAU, #ichoosesa and #EatLocalSA on social media.

Regional Showcase stories are made possible by:

Major Partner[logooos_saved id=”5491″]Program Partners

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Agribusiness the backbone of SA economy

They help put food on our tables, contribute enormously to the state’s economy and uphold the livelihood of our regions.

South Australian farmers are the lifeblood of our country communities and are big players in the state’s overall economic welfare, with agriculture contributing to 25% of our economy.

Our agricultural researchers and biosecurity workers are equally important to our state’s reputation for being clean, green, pest free and one of the most sustainable food and wine growing regions on the planet.

Throughout October, Brand SA News will bring you success stories and the latest innovations from the state’s agribusiness industry, as part of Brand South Australia’s successful I Choose SA campaign.

We’ll take you inside the dairy industry and why you should be hunting down local dairy labels on your weekly shop, how multi-generational farming businesses have diversified, and how women are leading the way.

Food producers at B.-d Farm Paris Creek in the Adelaide Hills, makers of dairy products including yoghurt, cheese, butter and milk. Photo: PIRSA.

First up, we will deliver an article on Thornby Premium Lamb, a longstanding family-owned farming business with a presence at Sanderston on the outskirts of the Murray Mallee, as well as on Kangaroo Island.

We’ll also hear from Grain Producers SA’s first female boss, Caroline Rhodes, who will talk to the state’s grain industry, one that last year produced an 11 million tonne harvest worth a total farm gate value of $2.2 billion*.

Wheat is our primary grain, with 4500 farms across the state contributing to the grain industry, helping keep us and our livestock fed, and assisting in the manufacturing of a range of everyday products.

We’ll also bring you something a little weird – the world of potato waste.

Potatoes SA plans to tackle food waste by using discarded potato peel and pulp to make premium vodka (which we’re happy to taste test).

Brand South Australia’s I Choose SA for agribusiness ambassadors will also be revealed, and their experiences and industry predications shared.

Our coverage of agribusiness will take you inside some of our regions – our food bowls free from fruit fly and the vine-destroying phylloxera pest.

SA is the only Australian mainland state free from fruit fly and we spend about $5 million a year trying to keep it that way through prevention, detection and eradication measures.

Aside from knowing where our food grows, we’ll also find out where it goes, with China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand among others being some of our largest export markets.

And the wine, let’s not forget the wine. SA’s 3400 grape growers produce yearly crops valued at $658 million.


Eighty per cent of Australia’s premium wine comes from SA, proving we definitely know how to make a good drop.

To help kickstart the month of agribusiness exploration, Brand South Australia will host an Industry Briefing on October 9, where guests will learn about key innovations and the range of careers and available pathways.

Guests will hear from Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Tim Whetstone, Pork SA chairman Mark McLean and Grain Producers SA CEO Caroline Rhodes.

What: Brand South Australia I Choose SA for Agribusiness Industry Briefing
When: October 9, 4.30–6.30pm.
Where: Adelaide Showground, The Old Ram Shed.
Tickets: From $25–$49

Register for the event here.

*Statistics and industry figures sourced from PIRSA.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Around the world in one day at the Great Wine Voyage

Wine from the Napa Valley in the US to Bordeaux in France will go up against some of South Australia’s finest drops for Tasting Australia’s Great Wine Voyage this weekend.

Wine lovers will take an international tour through Adelaide’s east end, tasting wine from each of the Great Wine Capitals (including SA).

Adelaide, SA, is recognised as one of the finest wine regions in the world, along with Rioja (Spain), Bordeaux (France), Mainz (Germany), Mendoza (Argentina), Porto (Portugal), Napa Valley (US), Casablanca Valley (Chile), Verona (Italy) and the newly inducted Lausanne (Switzerland).

Participants of the Great Wine Voyage will gather at Mother Vine in Vardon Avenue before making their way to small bars across the city, tasting wine from nine of the 10 wine regions along the way.

Wine from Lausanne just missed out on being included in the voyage, as the Swiss wine region was only inducted into the network in March, 2018.

Voyagers can discover the similarities between SA wine and drops from other Great Wine Capitals at bars across Adelaide’s east end.

Local wine gurus including representatives from d’Arenberg, Angove Family Winemakers, Murdoch Hills, Wines by KT and Redman will compare SA varieties with an established expression from each international region.

The winemakers will also talk to why Adelaide is a member of the exclusive Great Wine Capital Global Network.

Langhorne Creek’s Bleasdale Vineyards winemaker Paul Hotker will take guests through the similarities between his Generations Malbec 2015 and a Mendoza equivalent.

In 2017 Paul received the ultimate nod from Australia’s top wine critic, James Halliday, when he was crowned Winemaker of the Year.

Paul Hotker says Langhorne Creek's cool climate and proximity to Adelaide make it the ideal wine region to visit.

Paul Hotker from Bleasdale Vineyards in Langhorne Creek.

He will explain the similarities of the two drops, including their violet, blackberry, plum, rose petals, cloves and spice aromas.

“Langhorne Creek Malbec and Argentinean Malbec have strong violet perfumes and what drives that is cool, overnight temperatures,” Paul tells Brand SA News.

“They (Argentineans) are influenced by the high altitude influence and gully winds, whereas we are … influenced by the Southern Ocean.”

Paul says SA wine deserves to stand up against drops from other regions considered to be the best in the world.

When asked why Adelaide deserved to be a part of the exclusive Great Wine Capitals Global Network he states “it’s the obvious choice isn’t it?”.

“It seems crazy that we wouldn’t be up there with the others,” Paul says.

“It helps us to become a part of something bigger.”

The Great Wine Voyage, hosted by Primary Industries and Regions SA, is one of various events within Tasting Australia, a 10-day food and wine celebration that kicks off on Friday, April 13.

Read more about what’s in store for Tasting Australia and how to Choose SA at the event here.

Great Wine Voyage tickets are on sale until 5pm Thursday, April 12, unless sold out prior.

The event runs from 2pm – 6pm and tickets are $75 per person.

Visit the website for more information.

Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our state by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.

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