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The fertile valleys and plains surrounding Ararat have supported a buoyant agricultural industry since European settlement. Grazing was particularly important during Ararat’s early years, with fine wool production emerging as a local mainstay.
The success of viticulture has planted the region firmly on the international map, with new export opportunities recently catapulting the industry onto a global playing field with award-winning wines produced at our 18 vineyards.
Beef and prime lamb production remain an integral part of the regional economy, and diversification into cropping, vegetables and nurseries has added breadth to the agriculture industry.
New technologies and changing farm practices have seen better returns for some farmers despite drought conditions. The Council-sponsored seasonal Farmers’ Market has encouraged small producers to market their products locally, with the organic movement becoming mainstream in some areas.
Today, agriculture employs around 1000 people across the municipality, injecting some $190 million into the regional economy. This equates to a 19 per cent share of the municipality’s annual industry turnover.