In the heart of Southern Alberta, Lethbridge County boasts one of the most productive and dynamic rural communities to be found anywhere.
Incorporated in 1954 and located on Traditional Blackfoot Territory, Lethbridge County covers over 2,880 km2 and has a population of 10,493 (2018).
We are approximately 200 km south of the City of Calgary and 100 km north of the United States border, surrounded by the Kainai First Nation and Municipal District of Willow Creek to the west, Vulcan County to the north, the Municipal District of Taber to the east, and Cardston County and the Municipal District of Warner to the south.
Communities within Lethbridge County include:
- Diamond City
- Iron Springs
Municipalities within the area independent of Lethbridge County include:
- Village of Barons
- Town of Nobleford
- Town of Coaldale
- Town of Coalhurst
- Town of Picture Butte
- City of Lethbridge
The climate of the area is semi-arid, providing little precipitation, which has led to the construction of the County’s many irrigation systems. What our area lacks in precipitation, however, we make up for in sunshine! This region receives the most sunshine in all of Canada, providing ideal conditions for growing crops. The Chinook winds generated from the eastern slopes of
the Rockies provide warmer temperatures than other areas on the prairies in winter.
Agriculture is our strength
The agricultural industry is the backbone of the local economy and the production of high-quality agri-food products is a source of pride for the area. Lethbridge County is responsible for a contribution of nearly $1 billion annually to the country’s GDP. Wheat is a major crop that is grown, processed, and exported around the world. Other crops grown include barley, canola, flax, rye, oats, and various specialty crops.
Rich pasture and grazing land in Lethbridge County produce some of North America’s best beef. Serving the area’s livestock industry are some of the country’s largest and most efficient feedlots, meat packing and processing operations. There are also a large number of pork, poultry, and dairy operations, along with three cheese processing facilities and several greenhouses producing many kinds of vegetables. One could have a very well-rounded diet by eating just the products grown here in Lethbridge County!
Lethbridge County is also an important centre for agricultural research, particularly in crop production, land use and animal husbandry. The Lethbridge Research Centre and Lethbridge Animal Diseases Research Institute employ hundreds of people, including many PhD level scientists. These researchers focus on food safety and methods for increasing agricultural production while making efficient land use a top priority.
To further strengthen the region’s agricultural sector, Lethbridge County is working with regional partners to further develop an agri-food corridor along the major transportation route of Highway 3 that is capable of providing additional value-added processing to locally grown agricultural products. By processing more of these products in the region, jobs can be created for local workers and increase the area’s economic activity and prosperity.
Another current project is the Protein Innovations Canada supercluster, an Prairie-based and industry-led initiative which aims to make Canada a world leading source for high-quality plant and animal proteins. As global demand for traceable, ethically-produced, nutritious food increases, Lethbridge County is well-positioned to provide new food products in addition to the other
top-quality food already produced here.
Click to view a recent report on the strength of the agriculture industry in Lethbridge County: Economic Impact of Lethbridge County Agriculture 2020 (Serecon) Report
Smaller industrial developments and business parks have been successful by attracting numerous light industries and businesses. McCain's, Pioneer Seeds, Green Prairie Products, and other large employers have also chosen to locate on some of the County’s rural parcels that have excellent highway and rail exposure necessary for their business operations.
Alternative energy development has emerged in the region due to the abundance of natural resources associated with wind, solar and bio-energy.
The future is bright for Lethbridge County and the region as a whole. The County is in a unique position to further grow the economy in partnership with producers, businesses, and municipal neighbours, and we are ready for the many opportunities that await!
The numerous small lakes and irrigation reservoirs within Lethbridge County offer several recreational opportunities. Paired with a variety of campgrounds, picnic areas, and family-friendly attractions, Lethbridge County has emerged as a destination for outdoor enthusiasts!
Click for more information: Recreation in Lethbridge County