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Economic Development

Why the Municipal District of Taber

The MD of Taber is located in south-central Alberta neighbouring 6 other rural municipalities. Running east through the centre of the municipalities is the Oldman River that joins with the Bow River at our east boundary. The Bow River defines a majority of our north boundary and Chin Lakes, as well as Chin Coulee, defines the south.

The MD of Taber has seen impressive growth for a largely rural area, including 13% population growth between 2007 and 2017. The population is generally young, with a median age of 27.6, nearly 10 years younger than the provincial median. Occupying 44% of the labour force, agriculture is the dominant employment sector and is also the top industry by the number of businesses with employees.

Within the MD of Taber are 5 hamlets:
  • Grassy Lake, on Highway 3, 2.5 miles from the east boundary
  • Hays, at the intersection of Highway 875 and 524
  • Enchant, along Highway 526 in the northwest corner of MD
  • Johnsons Addition, adjacent to the west side of the Town of Taber
  • Purple Springs, on Highway 3, approximately 10 miles east of Taber

The brown soils in the MD vary from clay to sandy loams of a medium texture which combine with a relatively level topography to make the area ideally suited to irrigation farming. The continual improvement and expansion of water supplies via the Taber, Bow River and St Mary Irrigation District systems have paved the way to more intensive crop production techniques. The result has been the development of sugar beet and vegetable processing industries, plus livestock confinement operations which need an abundance of hay, pasture and crop by-products for feed.

In 2021 the Alberta Government announced historic investments in irrigation that will add almost 200,000 acres of irrigated land to southern Alberta. These investments of over $800M will support upgrades to existing irrigation infrastructure to be more efficient in water use. As water efficiencies grow, the irrigation districts in the region will be able to irrigate more land using less water. It is expected that almost 80,000 of these additional acres will be within the MD of Taber, which will attract more economic investment opportunities in production and processing. 

The MD of Taber also has numerous assets that are attractive for residents and visitors, including a renowned shooting range, several campgrounds and the recreational opportunities of the rivers and reservoirs in the region.

Growing our Economic Future – Taber Regional Economic Development Strategy is a road map for attaining a collective vision of growing economic prosperity, backed by a thoroughly researched and consultation-informed action plan framework. This Strategy was a collaborative effort between the Municipal District of Taber, the Town of Taber and the Town of Vauxhall. 

For more information contact:

Ben Young, Planning & Economic Development Officer

403-223-3541 or byoung@mdtaber.ab.ca