About the South Central Alberta Region:
- Approximately two-thirds or the population is between the age of 15 and 64 (Statistics Canada, Census 2006).
- The average age of a person residing in the SouthGrow region is 34.9 years old (2004).
- Amongst 18 Canadian jurisdictions studied in a 2008 KPMG Competitive Alternatives Study, Lethbridge ranked in the top five for low cost of doing business.
- The SouthGrow region consists of 18,604.5 square kilometers of land area (Statistics Canada).
- SouthGrow has a well-established agriculture economy. There are over 1 million acres of irrigated farm lands in the region.
- The SouthGrow region enjoys 2,073 million dollars worth of gross farm receipts (Census of Agriculture, 2001).
- There are nearly 233,000 sq ft of area under greenhouse production (Census of Agriculture, 2001).
- Large greenhouse and field vegetable production providing a base for processing operations. The region produces 61% of Alberta’s vegetable crop (Census of Agriculture, 2001).
- The region produces about 25% of Alberta’s food and manufacturing products.
- The region has nearly 14 percent of the cattle production, over 15 percent of the provincial pig population, and over 16 percent of the hen and chicken population in the province. (Census of Agriculture, 2001).
- Strong food processing activities in meat, potatoes, canola, seed cleaning and small scale value added developments.
- The region is strategically located on the North South International Trade Corridor (CANAMEX Highway) and is close to the United States border.
- The region has Alberta’s only 24 hour Port of Entry in Alberta is the Coutts/Sweetgrass Border Crossing.
- Strong tourism sector attracting 550,000 visitors annually.
- The region is home to the Southern Alberta Alternative Energy Partnership (SAAEP), a partnership of 37 municipalities in south central and south western Alberta that facilitates the development of alternate energy systems and attracts corresponding businesses.
- The SouthGrow region is home to key research, innovation and education centres including the University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge College, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Research Centre, and Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.