LAS CRUCES, N.M. – For a century, the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau has served as the voice of agriculture in our state. A new exhibit at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces shares the impact the organization has had in its first 100 years.
“New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau: 100 Years Strong” opens Nov. 3 in the Museum’s North Corridor. The exhibit will be on display through Sept. 16, 2018.
“We are so excited about this exhibit,” says Chad Smith, CEO of New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau. “The museum did a fantastic job of compiling our history and telling a story that stretches back 100 years. We know you’ll enjoy the vintage photos and the historic documents, but more importantly, you’ll leave with an understanding of the NMF&LB family and how our members have dedicated their lives to ensuring a successful future for agriculture in our state.”The Farm and Livestock Bureau (including the Doña Ana County Farm and Livestock Bureau that preceded it) has worked with elected and appointed officials on the state and national level to coordinate beneficial outcomes for New Mexico’s food producers. The organization advocates for farm and ranch families, rural communities, and those interested in protecting private property rights.
The exhibit traces the history of the grass-roots organization, including its programs such as Ag in the Classroom, Women’s Leadership, Young Farmers & Ranchers, Farm Family of the Year, as well as insurance. Soil conservation, better irrigation methods, and improved crop production were issues on the minds of the 300 farmers and ranchers in the Mesilla Valley who first gathered in 1917. These forward-thinking food producers were following a national trend during the Progressive Era where organizations grew for mutual support and to share knowledge. Popularity of the organization increased as it helped develop marketing opportunities for crops and worked with local extension agents to incorporate the latest research into farming methods. At the same time, farm bureaus were catching on nation-wide and the American Farm Bureau Federation was formed in 1919. This began the nation’s largest agricultural organization. One-hundred years after the initial meeting in Doña Ana County, the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau now represents 19,000 members across the state.
About the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum:
The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum is located at 4100 Dripping Springs Road in Las Cruces. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens, $3 for children ages 4 to 17, and $2 for active U.S. military members and veterans. Children 3 and under, and members of the Museum Friends receive free admission. The Museum is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.
For more information:
Cutline for attached photo: Will Pattison of Clovis (left) was an early organizer of the Curry County Farm Bureau, and also started the Curry County Fair in 1917. He is shown here with his family in a wheat field in the 1920s. Photo courtesy of the New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau.
(575) 522-4100, ext. 101
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