Agriculture in Growth Alberta
Agriculture is staple industry in the GROWTH Alberta region. Canola, wheat and barley are the primary crops grown in the region and it has a strong livestock sector which ranges from family farms to intensive livestock operations.
Primary crop and industry activity within the GROWTH Alberta region is contained within the Counties of Woodlands, Lac Ste. Anne, Barrhead and Westlock. The agriculture sector is a large economic driver for the towns of Westlock, Barrhead and Mayerthorpe as they are regional service centres for agriculture. There are a number of equipment dealers in these communities, UFAs, and a Peavey Mart.
Distribution of Upper Athabasca Farms
The GROWTH Alberta region is located in the Upper Athabasca land-use region. The following lists the distribution of Upper Athabasca farms by farm type.
Alberta is leading the prairies in hemp production. Since 2016, 32,000 acres have produced hemp fibre. Hemp is a low impact crop with high yield. Canada is currently the only country in North America where the cultivation of industrial hemp is legal.
Hemp fibre is renowned for its high tensile properties that make it durable and strong, as well as resistant to rotting. Hemp seed and straw are also used in a number of everyday products from cosmetics to carpeting.
Regional Cuisine refers to “locally produced/grown ingredients or processed products that have traceability back to a farm, locality, or province” according to the Dine Alberta initiative. This includes all foods on the menu of a restaurant or food event that specify their origin.
Farm Direct Purchasing
Farm direct marketing allows the farmer or producer to establish a direct relationship with the consumer, assuming both the accountability and the rewards. Quality agri-food products are sold directly to the consumer through a variety of channels, such as: U-Pick and U-Fish ventures, farm gate sales, farm stores, mail order, Alberta Approved Farmers’ Markets, direct to restaurant (where we assume the chef is the end-user), community supported agriculture (CSA), municipal buying clubs and e-commerce. Successful farm direct marketing involves consistently supplying quality products in a clean and customer-friendly environment.
On-Farm/Ranch Activities (Agri-Tourism)
Agri-Tourism includes a diverse range of activities, from U-Pick Farms (see Farm-Direct Purchasing) to Corn Mazes to Farm Tours and is experiencing an increase in demand for such activities.
See the results of the Northern Alberta Broadband Preparedness Project.
GROWTH Alberta Economics
Browse highlights from GROWTH Alberta’s economic scene – plenty to look forward to.
Get to know the regions, towns and people that make up GROWTH Alberta.