McGowan Government brewing innovation talent to grow regional economy

  • Four scholarships totalling more than $62,000 provided for entrepreneurs with agriculture or aquaculture projects
  • The scholarships will support industry growth and jobs in regional Western Australia
  • One scholarship is to help a Goomalling farmer build expertise in micro-malting operations to help grow craft brewing in WA
  • A Goomalling farmer who hopes to build a new local supply of traceable malt for the Western Australian craft beer industry is one of four innovative Western Australians who have been awarded entrepreneurship scholarships by the McGowan Government.

    The scholarships, awarded in the latest round of the Agriculture and Aquaculture Entrepreneurship Program, provide up to $20,000 for each recipient. The funding can be used for travel to research international and Australian best practice or to progress product commercialisation, testing and training.

    The latest scholarships have been awarded to:

    • Rex Rowles for the development of a barley malting operation in the Wheatbelt that has significant interest from the craft brewing industry;
    • Luke Hill for seaweed cultivation that can produce harvested varieties into a range of edible and consumer products;
    • Darren Hughes who is establishing data-driven fertiliser management for agriculture with the potential for significant on-farm savings; and
    • Neil Lantzke who is developing a protected cropping system to increase yield and reduce damage to fruit and vegetable crops in the Gascoyne and Pilbara

    This program is supported through the State Government’s $3.41 million Science and Agribusiness Connect Initiative and aims to develop local innovators and their ideas to diversify the Western Australian economy and create WA jobs.

    More information is available at

    As stated by Science Minister Dave Kelly:

    “Agriculture and aquaculture in Western Australia supports thousands of jobs, particularly in the regions and contribute significantly to the local economy.

    “We want to grow these industries to create more WA jobs and drive more economic growth and this program is one of the ways we are doing just that.

    “From unique brewing grains and seaweed harvesting to cropping systems and a new method for fertiliser use on farms, this program is helping to develop these diverse ideas to take our existing industries up a notch.”

    As stated by Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:

    “The innovative thinking and practical applications that come out of Western Australia’s regions are helping to drive real growth opportunities for the State.

    “These projects will bring home world-leading technology, best practice and new ideas to Western Australia’s farms and fisheries.

    “The McGowan Government is committed to supporting innovation, regional jobs and sustainable practices in agriculture and aquaculture.”

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