County of Vermilion River Open House March 5 at the Kitscoty Community Hall

Top Industries

The County of Vermilion River is a large, rural municipality with a diversified economy. It is also a dynamic, friendly place to do business with strong growth potential.The County's economy is based mainly on agriculture and the community is represented by a skilled and hard-working labour force with expertise in farming as well as assembly line work, welding, and metal fabrication. The region has become a strong and effective service center with support by grain elevators, machinery agents, farm supply distributors, veterinary and government services.

Heavy crude oil exploration development and oil and gas servicing has found the County to be strategically located. The oil fields in the Lloydminster, Wainwright, Cold Lake and Elk Point Areas are easily accessible from the County of Vermilion River along the Yellowhead (Highway 16), Highway 41, or secondary Highway 897.

There are 680 businesses located across the Region (County of Vermilion River, Town of Vermilion, and Villages of Kitscoty, Marwayne and Paradise Valley) that range from:

  • Small (98.1%)
  • Medium (1.5%)
  • Large (0.4%)

A variety of home-based businesses exist from mechanical and welding to account and online Sales.

Agriculture

Agriculture is one of the major economic bases of the County with farms being generally mixed with ranching and grain production. Mixed crops include coarse grains such as wheat, oats, barley, canola and other oil seeds. In addition, numerous cattle, dairy, hog and poultry farms bring agricultural diversity.

Major investment opportunities exist for value-added agriculture businesses. The County of Vermilion River saw phenomenal growth with a 5-year 61% increase in gross farm receipts, hitting $655 million in 2021.

Agriculture is strongly supported in Vermilion, Marwayne, Kitscoty, Paradise Valley, Dewberry and Clandonald. Sector support includes grain terminals, seed cleaning plants, machinery agents, veterinary services, agriculture research and business support services. Seed Cleaning Plants that offer cleaning services for cereals, oilseeds, pulse crops, pedigreed seed, commercial seed, dockage and removal separations are in Vermilion, Kitscoty, Paradise Valley and Clandonald.

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Agriculture Data

FARMING OVERVIEW

2016*

2021*

% ±

Number of Farms

1,052

1,125

6.94%

Total Land Area - km2

5,519.75

5,420

-1.81%

Land in Crops - Acres

763,580

825,559

8.12%

Natural land for pasture - Acres

303,450

362,357

19.41%

Number of Farm Operators

1,435

1,525

6.27%

Number of Employees

746

529

-29.09%

Gross Farm Receipts

$405,991,767

$655,168,180

61.37%

CROP OVERVIEW

Canola - acres

255,773

293,676

14.82%

Wheat - acres

225,534

252,290

11.86%

Barley - acres

82,634

100,721

21.89%

Alfalfa and alfalfa mixtures - acres

64,187

35,628

-44.49%

All other tame hay and fodder crops - acres

27,179

31,522

15.98%

Oats - acres

24,513

31,764

29.58%

Dry field peas - acres

51,066

41,718

-18.31%

Quinoa - acres

4,000

11

-99.73%

Lentils - acres

1,845

320

-82.66%

Total rye - acres

334

594

77.84%

Flaxseed - acres

1,295

4,342

235.29%

Vegetables - acres (excluding greenhouses)

n/a

11

n/a

Total greenhouse area in use ‐ square feet

n/a

23,260

n/a

LIVESTOCK OVERVIEW

Value of Livestock & Poultry  

$283,193,398

$241,232,330

-14.82%

Cattle and Calves #

131,376

152,591

16.15%

Dairy Cows #

n/a

193

n/a

Beef Cows #

n/a

58,217

n/a

Heifers #

16,643

26,123

56.96%

Calves #

42,573

46,165

8.44%

Steers #

18,711

18,522

-1.01%

Bulls #

3,495

3,371

-3.55%

Pigs #

n/a

39,123

n/a

Hens and Chickens #

73,096

134,944

84.61%

Sheep and Lambs #

3,614

1,955

-45.90%

Source: Statistics Canada Census of Agriculture and community information.
Figures are based on number of farms reporting.
n/a - not available from Statistics Canada Census data

Oil & Gas

Expanding drilling and exploration in the region mean a greater foundation for the oil and gas industry. Reasonable land costs, developed infrastructure, a large labour force and direct access to markets make the County a wise choice for investment and opportunity. We are fostering new business in order to capitalize on the pockets of shallow gas and oil deposits.

Our region is ideally situated for oil and gas industry transportation and servicing. Highway 41 is a major north-south distribution route leading to oil and gas developments in the oil sands and runs directly through the County.

Natural Gas

The CVR Natural Gas Utility provides safe, reliable services to Industry 24/7. All profits are re-invested back into maintenance and development. Innovations include utilizing captured vent gas for residential, farm or industrial uses; or developing a natural-gas powered vehicle fleet. Our value added services include gasfitting, heaters, line trenching, and power and water line installation. Competitive rates, consistent supply chain, and superior customer service make us the largest Rural Gas Distributor in Alberta.

The County of Vermilion River has a natural gas refueling station located at Kitscoty on Highway 16, providing sales of natural gas for commercial fleet fueling. The County generates a total sales volume of approx. 2,650,000 GJ of natural gas each year.

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Transportation

The major east-west route in the region, the Yellowhead Highway runs through the County of Vermilion River. Highway 41, a main north-south route to the oil fields also runs through the County. These Highways are primary routes for provincial and international trucking and transportation. The Vermilion Airport is a paved, lighted, year round facility with a 3,300 foot runway and Vermilion is a terminal point for CN rail.

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