Russell is a town of 1,611 (2011 census) located in southwestern Manitoba, Canada, in the Rural Municipality of Russell. The town of Russell is located along Highway 16 and Highway 83, and is at the western terminus of Highway 45. Russell is approximately 15 km from the Saskatchewan border and 340 km northwest of Winnipeg. The community is home to approximately 1,700 people, with a trading area population of over 14,000.Russell is the home of Manitoba's Beef and Barley Festival, which is held annually in October to celebrate the region's strong agricultural tradition. Grain farming and cattle ranching are extensive in the surrounding areas. A public artwork of eight sets of wooden arches spans the major intersections of Main Street and helps define the center of the town.European-Canadians first settled the area around Russell around 1880. The first post office began operations at a site north of the present town in 1880, and was called "Shell River". The closest CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) point was renamed to Russell in 1889. Also in 1889, a Dr Barnardo's Home for boys was established. The home and local farmers sponsored transportation for British orphans to come to the area to work on farms. The town of Russell was officially incorporated in 1913.Recent changes to agriculture, such as the elimination of the Western Grain Transportation Subsidy, have put the region in a unique position. With one of the highest freight rates in western Canada, the Russell area is well-positioned to experience an explosion in value-added processing. Bunge Canada, an advanced canola-processing plant, is located at Harrowby, 15 km west of Russell.Nearby potash mining in Saskatchewan provides jobs for numerous Russell residents, as well as purchasing supplies and services locally. The first potash mine in Manitoba has been proposed for a site just southwest of Russell.
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