Anyone wondering how pigs were first introduced to South Australia (via Kangaroo Island) or how early agronomists decided to hone in on the Northern Adelaide Plains for horticulture production can find out at the click of a button.
The History of Agriculture website – showcasing thousands of historical agriculture images and information – has been given a facelift.
The website houses historical records in cereals and grains, livestock, horticulture, seeds, pastures and crops and features more than 4,000 historical images.
About 15 years ago a small group of people in PIRSA recognised the value in capturing the history of the department and how it had contributed to the development of the state's primary industries.
The website recounts the roles played by the Department of Agriculture, agricultural bureaus, learning institutions and other government agencies through historical documents, manuscripts, personal accounts and transcripts in the development of the agricultural industries and the role of government in South Australia through to the present day.
As part of an upgrade, the website is now more user friendly, easier to navigate and mobile compatible.
History of Agriculture Volunteer Dr Don Plowman said users will be delighted to discover some of the recently added content.
“We now have papers on the potato and stonefruit industries, water supply, settlement of rural and regional SA, the Pekina irrigation scheme and the Murray Darling Basin,” Dr Plowman said.
South Australia has always relied on its primary industries to feed the population and drive economic development for the state.
“In the early days of the colony agriculture was critical to feed the new settlers and then generate a source of export income to help sustain the state's economy,” Dr Plowman said.
“While other industries such as clothing and white goods have come and gone, agriculture continues to be the backbone of the state's economy.
“South Australia has an enviable reputation for innovation in the agricultural sector.”
The update to the website comes as the South Australian Research and Development Institute celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, marking a significant milestone in the delivery of science and technologies which have supported the state’s agriculture, food and wine production.
“Research and development underpins productivity improvement and is complemented by on-farm innovation and value adding,” Dr Plowman said.
The website captures the success stories to help inform future decision making.
“It was also thought important to identify and celebrate the successes,” Dr Plowman said.
National Agriculture Day is on Tuesday 21 November 2017 – remember to #thankafarmerSA.
The History of Agriculture website was originally launched in May 2011 and is hosted by Primary Industries and Regions SA. Visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/aghistory.