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Farm and Ranch Museum reopens


The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) has re-opened the state’s eight museums – including the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum (FRHM), 4100 Dripping Springs Road in Las Cruces – and seven historic sites in accordance with COVID-safe practices and public health measures to protect the well-being of patrons, FRHM said in a Feb. 3 news release.

Hours at FRHM, which reopened Feb. 8, are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

“We are excited and grateful for the opportunity to reopen FRHM,” said FRHM Executive Director Heather Reed. “While we have worked hard to stay connected to the public through our online offerings during the temporary closures, and will continue to do so, our staff also has worked hard behind the scenes to prepare for this reopening. We look forward to seeing everyone again, and providing our guests a safe environment to experience our state's amazing history through our museum exhibits and livestock areas.”

FRHM is a member of the state Department of Tourism’s New Mexico Safe Certified program and offers plenty of room for social distancing on the 47-acre campus and 100,000-square-foot main building, the news release said. The capacity during this phased period of reopening is 75, with face coverings are required indoors and outdoors.

Farm and Ranch Museum programming

“Home on the Range: From Ranches to Rockets” is FRHM’s current featured exhibit. It stretches through two galleries and tells the story of the dramatic transformation of the Tularosa Basin during World War II and beyond. A new feature is the historic horse-drawn hearse that likely was used for Pat Garrett and other prominent Las Crucens during the early 20th century.

Other featured exhibits include “Agricultural Beginnings,” the “New Mexico Colonial Home,” “Wheels & Gears,” “Home Sweet Home,” “Grist for the Mill” and “The Cowboy Way: Western Drawings by Robert “Shoofly” Shufelt.

The museum begins a new series on its Facebook page (www.facebook.com/NMFRHM) called Herd at the Farm & Ranch Feb. 11. The series, which will be every other Thursday, consists of five-minute interviews with museum staff and others connected to the museum’s mission, including historians, farmers, ranchers and scientists.

FRHM visitors may also take a walk to see museum livestock, including seven different breeds of beef cattle (and several baby calves born during the closure), horses, sheep and a donkey. The Heart of the Desert Gift Shop and Snack Bar will be open during museum hours, and Friends of the Museum membership passes and Culture Passes will be honored.

As part of DCA’s Invite an Educator program, teachers, parents and groups may invite a FRHM educator or curator to do an online presentation on All About Sheep, Desert Plants of the Southwest, Museum Careers, Reading Roundup, The Life of a Cowboy, Self-Sufficiency in the Tularosa Basin and History Happened Here: All About Oral History. More topics are on the way.

Visit https://dcaeducates.nmculture.org/category/new-mexico-farm-and-ranch-heritage-museum/ for more information.

Some of FRHM’s usual offerings will be closed during the museum’s period of partial reopening, the news release said, including the indoor and outdoor play areas, barns, cart tours, greenhouse, pony rides, classrooms, theater and demonstrations.

Museum admission is $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens, $3 for children 4-17 and free for children 3 and under as well as Friends of the Museum members with their card. New Mexico senior citizens are admitted free on Wednesdays.

FRHM and other DCA museums, historic sites and cultural institutions first closed due to COVID-19 March 16, 2020, reopened Sept. 24 and closed again Oct. 23.

Contact FRHM at 575-522-4100 and frhm@state.nm.us. Visit www.nmfarmandranchmuseum.org.