|New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces. (NMFRHM)|
If you are a history buff and traveling along the I-10 east-west route between El Paso, Tex., and Deming, N.M, one place to work into your itinerary is the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces, NM.
The interactive museum is part of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs and covers 47 acres. It brings to life the “4,000-year history of farming and ranching in New Mexico.”
This is a fascinating destination for retirees or the entire family. RVers can stroll along corrals filled with livestock, enjoy the gardens, visit several of the exhibitions, or take a cart tour of the “South 20.”
Exhibits: The museum has permanent and changing exhibits in the main building that contains more than 24,000 square feet of space. From the temporary fine art exhibits in the corridors … to the rows of farm implements at the Antique Equipment Park, folks have an opportunity to learn from a variety of exhibitions that help tell the unique story of farming, ranching, and rural life in New Mexico.
|Live blacksmith demonstrations.|
Demonstrations are part of what makes this museum unique and fun. People living in remote New Mexico needed to know how to make fabrics and clothing from raw materials including sewing, spinning, weaving, embroidery along with other traditional handcrafts.
Also out of the past, the blacksmith shop is a must-see attraction. Watch metal forged into tools and decorative items. Learn about the history and importance
of the blacksmith in rural communities.
|Sculpture dedicated to New Mexico agriculturalists by Armando Alvarez.|
One unique sculpture by artist Armando Alvarez is shaped like a water tank. “The cut-out figures were inspired by photographs of New Mexico farm and ranch scenes. With this work, the artist makes a statement about the importance of water for farming, ranching and life in general. The 80,000-pound sculpture is made of 1-inch steel that is 130 feet in length. Its height ranges from 16 feet to 8 feet,” according to the museum website. It is located in the “South 20.”
Livestock Tours: Cart tours to get to the “South 20” portion of the museum grounds are available throughout most of the day. The docent-lead tour includes the livestock corral where visitors learn more about the cattle raised in New Mexico.
Greenhouse & Gardens: The museum also has a Greenhouse, with plants for sale on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is a pistachio orchard, as well as a cactus garden, and the Children’s Discovery Garden.
If you go:
New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum
4100 Dripping Springs Road
Las Cruces, NM
Directions: From I-25, take Exit 1 and go east 1.5 miles.
Hours: Mon-Sat 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sun. Noon to 5 p.m.
Admission: $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens (60 and over), $3 for children ages 4 to 17, and $2 for active U.S. military and veterans. Children under 4 free.
There is plenty of free parking for RVs and buses in an enormous parking lot.