New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum Discovery Center
New Mexico has a long history in the dairy industry, dating back to 1598.
The New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces continues to strive to educate the public about this thriving industry.
Starting Saturday, October 29, museum officials have a new resource in their educational arsenal.
The Dairy Spot: Discovery Center is set to open to the public with a special celebration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 29.
Caliche’s Frozen Custard will be on hand to offer a free 5 ounce serving to the first 500 visitors, and guests are welcome to make their own ice cream using Ziplock bags.
Milking and other demonstrations are also part of the fun.
According to the museum, the renovation is more child-friendly and consists of more interactive exhibits.
The Southwest Dairy Farmers’ $30,000 donation to the museum last year made the renovation possible.
“Our long-standing partnership with the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum continues to build on our goals of educating young and old about the dairy industry and the good, nutritious and healthy products produced by dairy farmers. New Mexico and the United States,” said Jim Hill, CEO of Southwest Dairy Farmers.
The partnership between Southwest Dairy Farmers and the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum is a natural one, sharing the goal of preserving New Mexico’s dairy farming history and educating the public about this important industry.
“We are thrilled to be able to continue our partnership with Southwest Dairy that began 25 years ago,” said Heather Reed, the museum’s executive director. “Together, we have produced an innovative and immersive exhibit that showcases the depth of our history and explores current advances in agriculture.”
Reed said visitors to The Dairy Spot will enjoy videos of ice cream making, the pasteurization process and farm-to-table. Some of the topics featured in The Dairy Spot are dairy cow breeds, sources of milk around the world, a cow’s anatomy, nutrition, cheese, ice cream, butter, and lots of fun facts. Among the interactives are a butter churn, a cheese fridge, and an “I Spy” activity featuring a house with various dairy products.
The dairy industry plays an important role in the history of New Mexico agriculture as the first cattle were brought to this region by the Spanish in 1598.
The importance of dairies in New Mexico is reflected in national statistics where the state currently ranks ninth in milk production and fifth in cheese production, Reed said.