immigrants, agriculture, economy


The early history of what became the province of Alberta in 1905 is characterized largely by the agricultural industry. A great majority of the early twentieth century immigrants came to Alberta expecting to participate in some way in the agricultural economy. However, the farming methods that were implemented in the province varied considerably. Partly, this variation was due to differences in naturally existing phenomena such as climate, soil conditions, and landscape. However, practices also varied due to the cultural backgrounds of the farmers. The First Nations people who had lived on the land for millennia used farming methods far different than did the Hutterites, both methods of which have been documented by historians. Immigrants who traveled up from the United States, either as one-step immigrants whose families had lived in the U. S. for generations or as second-step immigrants who had settled in the United States but chose to move on to another location, often arrived with experience of farming in dryland or similar conditions. Likewise, immigrants from Europe brought with them ideas about farming which they put into practice to greater or lesser extents upon their settlement in Canada.