Traditional meets Modern Agriculture:
The rich past and innovative future of the deeply rooted agriculture industry in High River
The Town of High River is a bustling business centre for a wealth of industries—from technology to health care to arts and more—but agriculture has long been one of the community’s most steadfast and innovative sectors, with roots in farming and ranching dating back to the late 1800s.
High River has evolved into a leading agricultural hub, due to being surrounded by some of the most diverse and productive farm land in the world. The town is a key producer in the supply chain for Calgary and the surrounding area, and many of the area’s farmers and producers come from multi-generational agriculture families.
The Original Entrepreneurs
High River is a community replete with entrepreneurial spirit, and farmers are the world’s original entrepreneurs. They are ardent drivers of the Town’s economic success, and as a result High River is currently home to a diverse range of leading equipment manufacturers, crop and livestock service providers and full-scale food distributors, including Agriterra Equipment, Rocky Mountain Equipment, Crop Production Services, UFA, Highwood Crossing, Medivet and Highwood Natural Foods.
In 2016, Alberta had 41% of Canada’s total cattle inventory. Cargill Foods operates a large
beef processing plant just outside of High River that employs nearly 2000 people and
processes approximately 4500 head of cattle daily. – Calgary Economic Development
Leading Technology and Advancement
High River’s strong presence in agriculture continues to attract new businesses to the community—most recently Farmers Business Network (FBN). The Silicon Valley-based tech company recently announced that High River will be its Canadian headquarters, slated to open in May. FBN offers a data-driven approach to agriculture that supports and empowers independent business. It allows farmers in North America to share and access agronomic data to increase yield, maximize input efficiency and support better fertility and soil outcomes. High River and FBN share a goal of supporting and empowering independent business, and the town was selected as the Canadian headquarters due to its strong presence in North American agriculture.
Since 2015, FBN has garnered more than 21 million acres of member farms in the US.
Since it’s launch in Canada in early 2018, it has attracted more than 1.8 million acres of member
farms across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.
The demand for such a service is clear, and the FBN is delivering.
Rooted in Pride
The town’s rich history in agriculture has been documented and preserved by the High River Agricultural Society, a local non-profit that launched in 1907.
As a testament to its agricultural history and relevance today, the High River Ag Society hosts many 4H groups, barrel races, team roping events, agriculture clinics and events such as the 39th-annual Guy Weadick Days Rodeo (June 21 – 24, 2018), a favourite family event for all ages.
The High River Rodeo Grounds are also home to the Call of the West Museum, where visitors can view important pieces of the town’s history along with an extensive collection of vintage tractors and farm equipment.
The Call of the West Museum is based on the influence of Ford and oil companies had on
agricultural life from the early 1900s onward. The museum houses one of the best and largest
collections of unique Ford products, Model T cars and trucks, cameras, Coca-Cola memorabilia and antiques.
High River is a people-first community where families and businesses thrive. Watch this video from High River’s Rooted in People series to learn more about agriculture in High River and the people and businesses who are integral to its success.