The future of farming is here, with a $2 million grant funding six innovative projects to revitalise the Southern Rangelands. Funded by the McGowan and Albanese governments, the grants will help strengthen drought resilience in the regions. Federal Minister for Agriculture Murray Watt said they wanted farming communities to be better prepared to deal with future droughts. “There are some great WA ideas that embrace new technology and will help farmers right across the country, and I’m very pleased the Albanese Government can work with the McGowan Government to deliver support for WA’s ag sector,” he said. WA Minister for Agriculture Jackie Jarvis said this would be a great chance to enhance the landscapes and improve their businesses. “I am impressed by the innovative projects to revitalise the land condition of the southern rangelands, while at the same time embracing new technology and management strategies to boost livestock production,” she said. Debbie and Ashley Dowden from Challa Station in Mount Magnet will use their $146,880 grant to test agriculture technology that they hope will be game-changing for Australian farming. “We want to prove that virtual fencing will or won’t work on a real life station situation,” Debbie Dowden said. The virtual fencing is one of the innovative projects that will be tested with the grants, being an animal-friendly way to confine livestock without the use of fences. “If you do it right you can regenerate the country,” Ms Dowden said. “It’s sort of like going out to the garden and pruning it and putting manure on it, then leaving the garden to grow.” This pilot project will be the first time it has been in trial in Australia, with the United States showing promising results. The other five recipients will use the grants to decentralise watering points and establish a grass nursery, erect exclusion fencing for revegetation, install trap yards and remote water monitoring to reduce grazing pressure and explore the use of lick feeders to aid feed management.