Goomalling farmer backed to make Wheatbelt a leading beer producer

A Wheatbelt farmer is helping turn the region into an industry leader for beer production.

Goomalling farmer Rex Rowles will use a state government Agriculture and Aquaculture Entrepreneurship Program grant to build his expertise in micro-malting operations.

Mr Rowels was one of four entrepreneurs in agriculture and aquaculture who received a share in more than $62,000.

He said he hopes to build a new local supply of traceable malt for the Western Australian craft beer industry.

Science Minister Dave Kelly congratulated Mr Rowles for his ambition.

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

"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."

Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the projects inspired by the grant particpants will help invigorate the state.

"The innovative thinking and practical applications that come out of Western Australia's regions are helping to drive real growth opportunities for the state," she said.

"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."

Other grant participants include 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.

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