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