Sunrise from County Road 13

Sunrise from
County Road 13

Pawnee Buttes

Pawnee Buttes

Poudre Trail

Poudre Trail

Weld County Fair

Weld County Fair

Early Summer Corn

Early Summer Corn

Greeley Arts Picnic

Greeley Arts Picnic

Fort Vasquez

Fort Vasquez

Dearfield

Dearfield

About Weld County

The Pawnee National Grassland encompasses approximately 193,000 acres in northern Weld County. (c) Weld County Government 
Welcome to beautiful Weld County – home to growing cities, charming towns, thriving businesses and thousands of acres of prime agricultural land. As Colorado’s third largest county, Weld County covers 3,996 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.

File 81
No 5 
Preamble to Resolution to His Hon A. W. Brazee 
Judge 1st Judicial Dist.
and his reply in 
regard to holding court.
 5/24/75 (1875)
 (c) Weld County Government
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 eight in the country, in the value of agricultural products sold -- $1.5 billion annually.

Irrigation ditch at sunset near Kersey. (c) Weld County GovernmentSo 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[1], is said to have been “the first ditch in the United States built specifically to grow food”. [2]

Thanks to a dry climate, warm summers, mild winters and a growing season of approximately  138 days, Weld County leads the state in the After a summer storm. (c) Weld County Governmentproduction of sugar beets, grains, beef cattle. The county is also a leader in the 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. [3]

Another important industry in the county is the energy industry. Oil and gas activity has occurred An oil and gas drilling rig east of Windsor. (c) Weld County Governmentfor decades in Weld County, which is located in the Denver-Julesburg Basin and sits above the Wattenberg Field.

On October 10, 1930, following months of difficult drilling, oil began to flow from the Greasewood fold, located in the eastern Weld County, at a rate of 184 barrels a day. After drilling further into the sandstone, that amount jumped 300 barrels a day. [4] The discovery in 1970 of the Wattenberg Field, which extends from southern Wyoming and Weld County is in the process of converting its fleet vehicles to Compressed Natural Gas and Liquified Natural Gas. In 2012, the county had 24 CNG vehicles and 4 LNG trucks. the Nebraska panhandle down  along much of the Colorado Front Range, initiated the first true oil boom in Weld County. [5] 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. [6]

Horizontal drilling has brought new life to the Noble Energy presented a $5 million check to the Weld RE-1 School District and Greeley/Evans School District 6. The funds will be used by the districts to purchase Compressed Natural Gas school buses and refueling infrastructure for those buses. (c) Weld County Governementenergy 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 Weld County Road 53, leading to the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, was paved in 2012 to accommodate the thousands of visitors to the Sanctuary every year. (c) Weld County Governmentcounty by just one oil and gas producer was $52 million of which 41% of that payment went to the county’s school districts, 9.11% went to Special Districts such as libraries and 8.51% went to Fire Districts within the county.[7] 

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 Groundbreaking of the North Colorado Regional Crime Lab in 2012. (c) Weld County Governmentcash. 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 governmentWeld County Board of Commissioners: Douglas Rademacher, Sean Conway, William Garcia, Mike Freeman and Barbara Kirkmeyer. (c) Weld County Governement 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.

Weld County is a home rule county meaning it is governed by a home rule charter which brings government closer to the people.

Following adoption of a constitutional amendment by Colorado voters in 1970, Weld County began work toward drafting its own set of governing rules. A 21-member commission was elected in 1974 to write the charter and after seven and a half months of study and scores of public hearings, the charter was presented to the voters in September 1975.

Passage of the charter made Weld County the first in the state to adopt its own home rule charter. Since then, only one other Colorado County, Pitkin County, has followed course. Weld County's Home Rule Charter went into effect on January 1, 1976, seven months before the 100th anniversary of Colorado's statehood. Changes in the charter are permitted by a majority vote of the residents. [8]

To learn more about Weld County, please visit the following links:

Weld County: www.weldgov.com

Weld County Charter: www.co.weld.co.us/assets/3d0dA293B43AA99bA91d.pdf

Upstate Colorado: www.upstatecolorado.org

Weld County 150th Anniversary: www.weldcounty150.org


[1] http://lib.colostate.edu/archives/findingaids/water/wgod.html

[2] http://www.weldcounty150.org/AgricultureinWeldCounty/index.html

[3] http://www.co.weld.co.us/Departments/PlanningZoning/WeldCountyRighttoFarm.html

[4] http://books.google.com/books/about/Stratigraphic_type_oil_fields.html?id=WZZOAAAAMAAJ

[5] http://www.greeleytribune.com/article/20120603/NEWS/120609997

[6] http://geosurvey.state.co.us/pubs/Documents/rtv13n1%204-15-11%20B.pdf

[7] http://www.co.weld.co.us/assets/71bD8Bb26D0c8a6cA917.pdf

[8] http://www.co.weld.co.us/AboutWeld/HomeRuleCharter.html