Economic base

In Oyen, agriculture is big business. The farms and equipment seem as big as the wide-open spaces.


Special Areas #3, the municipal designation for the rural lands surrounding Oyen is home to about 650 farm families. With an average farm size of over 2650 acres and a total farm area of 1.8 million acres, it’s easy to grasp the meaning of  “big”.


Dry-land farming techniques that maximize moisture retention and minimize wind erosion have transformed the Oyen area into a productive region for field crops including wheat, oats, barley, rye, flax, canola and field peas.


Nutritious prairie grasses that once fed vast herds of buffalo now provide nourishment to large herds of beef cattle. Range improvement programs and development of new grasses has significantly improved forage yields and helped to increase cattle numbers. 


These kinds of initiatives are of prime importance to CARA, (Chinook Applied Research Association). Cooperating local farmers test new tillage seeding and crop varieties. A highlight is the annual field day at which farmers can see the results of this ‘practical’ research.


Intensive livestock husbandry such as large-scale modern hog operations also contributes to the agricultural diversity.


Supplying farmers the products and services required by the agricultural community is the lifeblood of many Oyen businesses. A special social and business relationship has developed between rural and urban residents. The people of Oyen know the importances of agriculture-they are dedicated to meeting the needs of the farmers.


Oil and Gas 

In 1924 the Fuego Oil Co. started drilling the first oil well in the Oyen area. On September 20, 1929, Fuego Oil Well No. 1 blew in. Attempts were made to produce the well but it was abandoned in 1933. The reason given, “Hole too small for satisfactory production of heavy crude.”


In the early 50’s Alberta Gas Trunk Line began to build a natural gas pipeline gathering system. The East Lateral passed within 2 miles of Oyen. This was the start of the natural gas industry that today employs many people and is an important part of the local economy.


The Town of Oyen and surrounding communities have been working hard to promote the hidden prairie treasures within our region.  Oyen is a member of Alberta’s Special Area, the Canadian Badlands, and the Trail of the Buffalo. Oyen is a great place to visit and use as a base camp for exploring our region. We have an excellent camp ground facility, bed & breakfast, or motels that will be happy to accommodate you. After a day of exploring, you can relax with a round of golf, or cool off in the new Aquatic centre complete with water slide. Whether it’s exploring, shopping, dining, or recreation, Oyen is happy to show you the true meaning of Western Hospitality.
When planning your visit, you have many options:

1) check out the VISITORS section of the Town of Oyen website for local events happening in and around Oyen,

2) be sure to check out the website to plan some day trips and enjoy the beauty, the tranquility, the wildlife and the hidden prairie treasures that make our region so unique.

3) or, if you’re driving through, stop at the Provincial Visitor Information Center (VIC) on the corners of Highways 9 and 41 located 3 kilometers north of Oyen. The trained staff there would be more than happy to help you plan your trip to discover some of our hidden prairie treasures.

4) And for the really adventuresome, there is also Geocaching. For more information go to


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