Top groups showcased at awards

A number of unique and innovative groups were given the spotlight last week at the 2017 Regional Showcase held in Whyalla.

Groups from around the region specialising in everything from almonds and beer, to cheese made with ants and high-tech tomato farms were recognised.

Sundrop Farms received the Business Award for pioneering sustainable agriculture through its $200 million greenhouse facility just outside of Port Augusta.

The facility includes four five-hectare climate-controlled greenhouses, a desalination plant and a concentrated solar power system made up of a 127m high tower and more than 23,000 solar mirrors.

Sundrop Farms produces more than 15,000 tonnes of fruit each year, and it has secured a 10-year deal with Coles to provide truss tomatoes.

Keith’s Diesel and Dirt Derby received the Community Award, having been a successful fundraiser for the town’s struggling country show.

Earlier this year 10,000 people gathered to take part or witness country motorsport events including tractor pulls, buggy racing and a header demolition derby at the fundraiser.

The event is gradually becoming one of the biggest annual events in regional South Australia.

Lastly, the Farina Restoration Group was presented with the People’s Choice Award for its efforts to restore the ghost town of Farina in the state’s Far North.

Ten years ago caravanners discovered an underground bakery amidst the ruins of Farina, and now bakery volunteers and tourists alike flock to the ruined town.