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Agriculture/Agri-Food

Success in the agriculture sector is supported by the surrounding region, which includes more than 900 farms generating farm receipts of $1.1 Billion per year, building on assets of $3.2 Billion. Primary crops in this region include canola, corn, potatoes, sugar beets and pulses in addition to significant livestock and dairy production.

There are more than 120 established agri-food processing businesses in the Lethbridge region producing food and/or feed for local consumption and export. In the past 10 years this sector has seen significant investment and plans for future investment, including the 2016 announcement by Cavendish Farms of a new $350 million frozen potato processing plant, the largest private investment in Lethbridge's history which will double their annual production capacity.

Lethbridge has a long history of being an agricultural production, distribution and service centre. The Lethbridge Research Centre (established in 1906) is the largest within Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's national network of 19 centres and leads Canada's research in the development of bioindustrial platforms.

Fast facts:
  • The southern Alberta agricultural region has an annual production capacity of over 860,000 acres in canola crops - 21% of the Alberta total Canola crops are grown here.
  • Lethbridge based Richardson Oilseed Ltd. (formerly Canbra Foods), was the first company in the world to market canola oil. In 2016, the company announced a $120 million upgrade to its canola processing facility that would enable it to process an additional 250,000 metric tons of canola every year.
  • Beef producers in the Lethbridge region have the capacity to produce more than half a million head of cattle per year valued at approximately $700 million. That is 10% of the total number of cattle and calves reported across all of Canada in the 2011 Census of Agriculture.
  • Sunrise Poultry Processors Ltd processes approximately 14.5 million broilers per year, that’s 275,000 to 290,000 per week.
  • Sunnyrose Cheese (Agropur) processes 300,000 litres of milk per day producing millions of pounds of cheese per year. 
  • Lethbridge Inland Terminals has shipped more than 1,000,000 tonnes of grain since it opened a few years ago on Highway 4 southeast of Lethbridge

View the Agrifood Layer (Business Cluster) on the interactive map to gain a better perspective on this industry.
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Did You Know?

Three of every four members of the Lethbridge Regional Police Service are graduates of the Criminial Justice program at Lethbridge College.