South Australian agriculture’s role as an economic leader during the pandemic and the sector’s growth potential will be highlighted at the annual GROWING SA conference on August 23 and 24.

GROWING SA 2021 will focus on the post-COVID economic recovery, international opportunities and challenges for Australian agriculture, putting sustainability into practice on-farm, and building skills for the future.      

The conference is returning after a hiatus in 2020 due to COVID-19. It will be hosted by Grain Producers SA and Livestock SA at the Adelaide Hills Convention Centre, Hahndorf on Monday 23 August and Tuesday 24 August 2021.

The keynote speaker is President of the United Kingdom’s National Farmers Union (NFU), Minette Batters, who will join the conference virtually from the UK. She will explore what Brexit could mean for Australian agriculture and trade relationships and how agriculture advocates here can learn from the NFU’s experiences in its response to Brexit and other recent challenges.

GPSA chief executive Caroline Rhodes and Livestock SA chief executive Andrew Curtis both encouraged members and non-members to take part in GROWING SA to gain valuable insights at a time of ongoing global disruption for agriculture and international trade.

“Events of recent years such as drought and global disruption have tested the SA economy, yet agriculture has been a shining light during the COVID pandemic as other sectors have struggled,” Ms Rhodes said.

“GROWING SA will explore how agricultural industries and individual producers can adapt and respond to the many challenges we continue to face, through strategies such as effective advocacy, situational awareness, and sustainability planning and practice.”

Another headline speaker will be Levin Flake, Agricultural Counselor of the Office of Agricultural Affairs within the United States Embassy in Canberra. Mr Flake will present the US Department of Agriculture’s short and long-term projections for global grain and oilseeds supply, demand and trade. He will also give an overview of US livestock production and outline the global picture on beef and animal protein markets and trade for 2021 and beyond.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham will talk about how agriculture continues to underpin SA’s economy, despite the enormous challenges of the past 18 months, and how the state government will work with stakeholders for continued prosperity.

The Minister will also be part of a panel session, along with Shadow Minister for Industry and Skills, and Forestry Clare Scriven, Livestock SA president Joe Keynes and GPSA chair Adrian McCabe. The session will be an opportunity before the 2022 State and Federal elections for the speakers to pitch how their organisations will lead agriculture into the future. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of the panellists.

GPSA and Livestock SA will hold their annual general meetings on the Monday afternoon, followed by pre-dinner drinks and the GROWING SA Conference gala dinner.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) returns as the GROWING SA event partner and Regional Investment Corporation is the platinum sponsor. Grains Research and Development Corporation are a gold sponsor and Bayer, Telstra and the Department for Environment and Water are silvers sponsor of GROWING SA. Mellor Olsson Lawyers are the barista coffee cart sponsor and Thomas Foods is the pre-dinner drinks sponsor.

Registration is now open for all producers and industry stakeholders.

View the program and register at   


Media inquiries: Michelle Daw, AgCommunicators, 0427 430 845