Museum displays honor farm and ranch honorees

Apr 17, 2014

The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces has a pair of new displays that pay tribute to the New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau’s Farm Family of the Year and the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association Cattleman of the Year.

The exhibit panels in the museum’s lobby will be on display through the end of the year when the 2014 honorees will be recognized. Last November, Pat and Eva Woods of Curry County received the Farm & Livestock Bureau award, and Stirling Spencer of Lincoln County received the Cattle Growers’ Association award.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to partner with the New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau and the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association to create these annual displays,” said Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum Director Mark Santiago. “We’re a museum about people and heritage and we’re proud to help honor the Woods family and Stirling Spencer.”

Woods Farms started as a homestead in 1908 when Pat’s great-grandfather, James Charles Woods, moved with his wife and six sons to a parcel of land located between Broadview and Grady. Pat Woods was raised on the farm where he grows wheat and milo.

He met his wife Eva at NMSU where he was studying Agricultural Economics and she was getting her degree in Computer Science and Business. They married in 1971 and have three children, Loralee, James Charles Woods III and Toby.

Woods says that “Agriculture is a joint effort and I’m grateful for a strong family which helps keep the farm together.”

He served for many years as a New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau State Board member before becoming a state senator representing Curry, Quay and Union counties.

Spencer is a fourth-generation rancher and the great-grandson of the first Governor of New Mexico, William C. McDonald, who owned the ranch where Spencer still lives. His service to his community and state includes two terms as a Lincoln County Commissioner, the director of the Coalition of Arizona/New Mexico Counties, and former board member of the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum.

He also has served with the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association Board, the Cattlegrowers Foundation, the Production Credit Association, the Tom & Evelyn Linebery Policy Center at New Mexico State University, and the NMSU Corona Ranch Advisory Board. A former Cowbelle “Man of the Year,” he currently serves as the Lincoln County Probate Judge.

He is devoted to assisting young people in the cattle industry through FFA, 4-H, fairs and many other avenues, as well as furthering the causes of the cattle industry and helping other cattlemen.

The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces is a 47-acre facility that helps preserve the unique and exhibit history of agriculture in New Mexico. Livestock exhibits feature six different breeds of beef cattle, and the museum has a Horse & Cattle Barn, Sheep & Goat Barn, Dairy Barn, Greenhouse, Theater and Gift Shop.


For information contact Craig Massey at