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Toowoomba company AgData, which has created a suite of farm management and accounting solutions for the agricultural industry, has been named the the winner of this year’s Regional Online Heroes competition by the Regional Australia Institute and Google.

First established in 1984, the company’s PHOENIX suite helps agricultural industry professionals with tasks including financial management and budgeting, farm mapping, livestock management with up to the minute performance analysis, recording of day to day paddock and cropping activities, and grazing.

In announcing AgData as the winner of this year’s competition, Minister for Small Business and awards judge Michael McCormack said, “The platform delivers farmers the tools, data and information resources to help make informed decisions about their crops and markets.

“It’s fantastic to see a regional business leading the way in digital innovation for agriculture, which is set to play a huge role in the future of our economy. AGDATA has grown from a small family startup to a valuable national asset, demonstrating just how important regional businesses are to our nation’s prosperity.”

Over the last 30 years, the company has grown to reach a customer base of 22,000 industry professionals across Australia, continuing to dominate the market despite the launch of new players.

Jack Archer, CEO of the Regional Australia Institute, said that by developing digital solution specifically for regional areas, AgData has narrowed the divide between a traditional industry and technology, bringing the two together to help farmers achieve better agricultural output.

“This not only benefits regional communities through improved productivity and sustainability, but also boosts our national economic output,” he said.

AgData beat out 150 applicants and nine other finalists to be named this year’s winner, among them a crowdfunding startup connecting connecting consumers directly to farmers to buy beef and an educational platform teaching kids about agriculture through stories, songs, and apps.

The finalists attended a masterclass at Google’s headquarters in Sydney before the ceremony; AgData will now be partnered with Google and connected with new tools and strategies to further its development.

McCormack said the number of applicants and calibre of finalists in the awards shows there is nothing stopping regional Australians from creating successful tech companies.

“In almost every community, no matter its size or location, is a story of unparalleled opportunity, with country people taking their natural resilience and entrepreneurial spirit and turning that into a story of online success and strengthening their community,” he said.

“You don’t have to be in Silicon Valley or even Sydney to make a success of a modern, online business. You can do that from Swan Hill, from South Australia or from the Daintree or the Darling Downs.”

Image: the 2016 Regional Online Heroes. Source: Google.

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