The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces has achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies, and to the museum-going public.
“I am extremely honored that the Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum has been recognized as one of the premier museums in our state and region,” said Museum Director Mark Santiago. “This achievement is due to the enormous dedication of our staff, volunteers, board of directors, and supporters.”
The accreditation reviewers who visited the Museum last spring noted the teamwork of the staff and volunteers, as well as the “high quality” exhibits and collections. The “living (livestock) collection program,” received special notice. “From our perspective, this aspect of the Museum is a regional and perhaps national model that is strengthened and supported by the knowledge and skill of the well-trained staff,” the reviewers said in their concluding narrative.
Alliance Accreditation brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement.
Of the nation’s estimated 35,000 museums, just over 1,000 are currently accredited. The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum is the only one in Las Cruces and one of only four in southern New Mexico.
Accreditation is a rigorous but rewarding process that examines all aspects of a museum’s operations. To earn accreditation a museum first must conduct a year of self-study, and then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers.
The Museum, which is part of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, opened in 1998 and has welcomed visitors from all over the world. The 47-acre campus features the main building (Bruce King Building), along with three large barns, a greenhouse, roping arena, animal pens, the Historic Green Bridge, theater, indoor and outdoor exhibits, banquet and event rooms, an amphitheater and a gift shop and snack bar. The animals and demonstrations help make the facility unique among museums.
The public is invited to a Community Appreciation Day on Aug. 27 to celebrate this achievement and to dedicate its newest venue – the Heritage Garden. There will be free admission for everyone all day.
The Museum is located at 4100 Dripping Springs Road in Las Cruces. For more information, call (575) 522-4100 or visit www.nmfarmandranchmuseum.org