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The community base of Stanley is as varied as its landscape and its people. Much of the area is agriculturally based, but Stanley is also home to a number of industry, business, and government organizations.

Crops grown by farmers in the area vary from potatoes, onions, corn and beans, to canola, cereal grains and sunflowers. On the hills above the Pembina Escarpment, numerous cattle pastures are interspersed among the grain and oilseed fields.

This strong agricultural presence has led to the development of a number of agricultural sales and service centers along the four-lane highway between Morden and Winkler. Rich deposits of gravel and shale above the escarpment drive a strong industry based in aggregate mining.