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About Weld County

Communities - Weld County is home to 31 incorporated municipalities, each with their unique attributes and charming appeal. Use the map on this page to directly link to the municipality you are interested to explore.

Discover Weld - this website and associated social media platforms showcase the great people, places and events that call Weld County home. 

Upstate Colorado - Upstate Colorado Economic Development is a public/private non-profit economic development corporations that provides services to all of Weld County. Their work focuses on supporting primary employers, those that bring equity into the local economy by supporting the retail, service and professional sectors.

County Overview

Welcome to beautiful Weld County — home to 31 incorporated municipalities, Frederick in Flight hot air balloon festivalincluding growing cities, charming towns, thriving businesses and thousands of acres of prime agricultural land. As Colorado’s third largest county, Weld County covers 3,987 square miles in the northern part of the state and is larger than the size of Rhode Island, Delaware and the District of Columbia combined. The climate is dry and generally mild with warm summers, mild winters and a growing season of approximately 138 days. The land surface is fairly level in the east, with rolling prairies and low hills near the western border. Elevations in the county range from 4,400 to 5,000 feet. The South Platte River and its tributaries, the Cache la Poudre, the Big Thompson, the Little Thompson, the St. Vrain, and other smaller streams, flow into Weld County from the south and west, leaving the county on the east. With available services, location, resources and livability, Weld County offers unbounded opportunity for families to live, work and play. We have one more important ingredient as well: A positive attitude toward growth. For information regarding Weld County demographics, please click here and look under the Helpful Information section. We love being here,  and we’d love having you here too!

Industry

Weld County leads the state in the production of sugar beets, grains, beef and cattle. The county is also a leader in the Beef cows in a Weld County field.production of dry beans, potatoes, poultry and eggs, milk and other dairy products. In fact, agriculture is so important in the county that the Weld County Code includes a specific Right to Farm Statement.

Another important industry in the county is the energy industry. Oil and gas activity has occurred for decades in Weld County, which is located in the Denver—Julesburg Basin and sits above the Wattenberg Field.

The discovery in 1970 of the Wattenberg Field, which extends from southern Wyoming and the Nebraska panhandle down along much of the Colorado Front Range, initiated the first true oil boom in Weld County. Oil and gas production within the county continued at a steady pace for several decades. Then, in 2009, a horizontally drilled well (called the Jake well) surprised the oil industry by producing 50,000 barrels of oil in 90 days.Weld County leads the state in oil and gas production with more than 20,000 wells in the county.

Horizontal drilling has brought new life to the energy industry in Weld County, and today, Weld has more oil and gas wells than any other county in the state, approximately 20,000. The positive economic impact oil and gas has had on the county has been tremendous. Schools, fire districts, libraries as well as county and municipal governments all benefit from this recent oil boom.

For example, the 2011 tax payment to the county by just one oil and gas producer was $52 million, of which 41 percent of that payment went to the county’s school districts, 9.11 percent went to special districts such as libraries and 8.51 percent went to Fire Districts within the county.

Other benefits of the boom: Weld County has no long-term or short-term debt, no county sales tax, a low mill levy compared to neighboring counties, and is able to pay for long-term projects with cash. An "open for business" sign in Ault.In fact, starting in 2011, the Weld County Board of Commissioners began setting aside $8 million for county road maintenance, $23 million for improvements to Weld County Road 49, $40 million for future expansion of the Weld County Jail and $4 million for construction of the North Colorado  Regional Crime lab.

In addition to agriculture and energy, Weld County is also home to thriving businesses – large and small. County government has a proven track record of working with business and industry; not creating obstacles. Major employers in the area include: JBS USA, Leprino Foods, Aurora Organic Dairy, Anadarko Petroleum, Noble Energy, Halliburton Energy Services, Vestas Blades, Banner Health, Carestream Colorado and State Farm Insurance.

Agritourism is also abundant throughout Weld County. Farmer’s Markets and local produce stands can be found in many Weld County towns throughout the summer while pumpkin patches and intricate corn mazes provide hours of fun during the fall.

History

A historic Weld County document that states it originates from the Territory of Colorado.

The history of Weld County, which was established in 1861 when Colorado was still a territory, is literally rooted in the land.

 Weld County ranks number one in the state, and number nine in the country, in the value of agricultural products sold — almost $1.8 billion annually.

So how is this possible in a region that in 1821, Major Stephen H. Long said would "never be fit for human habitation and should remain forever the unmolested haunt of the native hunter, bison and jackal"? The answer is irrigation.
The Section No. 3 Ditch Company, which was incorporated in 1870, is said to have been “the first ditch in the United States built specifically to grow food.”

The inside courtyard of historic Fort Lupton.

In 1835, a government expedition came through the general area; the next year a member of that party, Lt. Lancaster Lupton, returned to establish a trading post located just north of the present town of Fort Lupton.

In about 1837, Colonel Ceran St. Vrain established Fort St. Vrain; Fort Vasquez was built south of Platteville in about 1840. The latter was rebuilt in the 1930s under the Federal Works Progress Administration.

The U.S. Congress took parts of the Territories of Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico and Utah to create the Territory of Colorado in 1861. All parts of Colorado lying east of Larimer County and north of the present Adams  County were in the original Weld County, one of 17 counties established by the first territorial legislature in September, 1861. Weld County was named for Lewis Ledyard Weld, the first territorial secretary; St. Vrain became the first county seat.

During the first 16 years of Weld county’s history, the county seat was moved from St. Vrain to Latham (three miles east of present Greeley) to Evans, to Greeley, to Evans again, and finally in 1877, returned to Greeley.

A large segment of the Weld County region was settled by people of German descent who migrated from Russia in the early 1900s. Originally they came as railroad workers, but many soon worked in the productive beet fields and eventually became prosperous land owners. Weld County’s Spanish-surname population began to arrive during the mid 1920s as laborers for the sugar beet industry.

Weld County’s sugar beet industry began with the building of sugar factories in Greeley and Eaton in 1902. In 1903, another was built in Windsor, followed in 1920 by one at Fort Lupton and another at Johnstown in 1926.

For more information on Weld County’s history, click here.

Education

Weld County is home to 17 school districts that offer quality educational opportunities. Greeley is the home of the University of Northern Colorado, a four-year university offering bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees to 12,000 students. Aims Community College is a two-year liberal arts and vocational college in Greeley with a second campus in Fort Lupton.

Click any of the links below to learn more about that school district.

RE-1 : Gilcrest, LaSalle and Platteville  

RE-2: Eaton 

RE-3J: Hudson, Keenesburg and Lochbuie

RE-4: Windsor and Severance 

RE 5J: Milliken 

District 6: Greeley and Evans

Platte Valley School District RE-7: Kersey

RE-8: Fort Lupton

RE-9: Ault, Pierce, Nunn and Carr

RE 10-J: Briggsdale 

Prairie School District RE-11J: New Raymer

Pawnee School District: Grover

The Following school districts extend into Weld County.

St. Vrain Valley School District

Thompson School District R2-J

Weldon Valley School RE-20J

Brighton School District 27J 

Wiggins School District RE-50J 

Higher Learning
University of Northern Colorado

Aims Community College

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