Weld County’s major industries are oil and gas exploration and production, agriculture, manufacturing, renewable energy, and other services.
Agriculture and businesses related to agriculture are the heartbeat of Weld County.
- Of the 2.5 million acres that comprise Weld County, 75% are devoted to agriculture in the form of farming, raising livestock, grain storage, processing and shipment, and related services.
- In the State of Colorado, Weld County is the top producer of grain, beef cattle, dairy products, and sugar beets.
- Outside of California, Weld County is the top agricultural producing county in the nation.
- The county has over 3,000 farms, of which 20% have annual sales greater than $100,000.
- Weld’s agricultural products and services create over $1 billion in market value. There are over 875,000 acres of crops planted each year.
- Agricultural production comes from many family-owned farms as well as large co-ops and agri-corporations.
Oil and Natural Gas
Weld County has a long history in providing energy resources for the nation.
- This history dates back to the 1800s with the extraction of high-quality coal deposits near the communities of Erie, Firestone, Frederick, and Dacono.
- Weld County is now home to more than 17,000 active oil and gas wells, which is the largest number of active wells in any county in the United States. (Source: The Greeley Tribune)
- The natural gas industry supports over 137,000 jobs in Colorado, or roughly 6% of total employment, and represents 7.3% of Colorado’s economy. (Source: Colorado Oil and Gas Association)
- Newly developed extraction processes and advanced technology in drilling have allowed for greater production of existing oil fields located in Central and Northern Weld County.
Weld County has a large number of manufacturing facilities that produce a wide variety of products.
- Many of the products are agriculture related, but there are also companies that produce specialty optical lenses, truck lifts, glass containers, lids for the food industry, and products for the oil and natural gas industry.
- New plants have sprung up to support the growth in the renewable energy fields, such as those that supply product to Vestas Blades for wind turbines.
- View a list of the major Weld County employers in the agribusiness industry
Weld County is now emerging as a leader in the renewable energy production and technology.
- Wind power is a new large sector in the county’s economy.
- There are three large wind farms that have been developed recently: Ponnequin Wind Farm, with 44 wind turbines; Cedar Creek 1 Wind Farm, 10 miles east of Grover, with 274 wind turbines; and Cedar Creek 2 Wind Farm, a recent addition, with 63 wind turbines.
- Weld County has a 40-million-gallon dry mill ethanol plant in Windsor. Ethanol is made from corn grain and is used as an additive to gasoline. It burns much cleaner than the traditional fossil fuel gasoline, and is a renewable resource.