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.
- 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
Did You Know?
University of Lethbridge Physics Research Team and Blue Sky Spectroscopy were part of the group behind Herschel Space Telescope's Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver Equipment (SPIRE) which has been awarded the prestigious Sir Arthur Clark Award for academic study.