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NM Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum gets new director

Heather A. Reed is the new executive director at the NM Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum 

The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum has a new leader.

Ohio native Heather A. Reed will start in the position on Nov. 2. Her salary will be nearly $94,000.

She replaces Mark Santiago, who retired in July.

“I’m absolutely thrilled about the opportunity to join the team at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum,” said Reed, who has 16 years of experience working with museums and historic sites. “I’m excited to get started and immerse myself in the New Mexico culture, engage the community, and learn what makes the museum staff passionate about what they do.”

Reed holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from The College of Wooster in Ohio and a Master of Arts degree in public history with a focus on museum studies, interpretation and heritage tourism from North Carolina State University.

Reed has served as the first Director of Museum and Education at the South Carolina Historical Society in Charleston. She also spent seven years working at the Taylor County History Center in Buffalo Gap, Texas.

As executive director at the Las Cruces museum, Reed will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the museum and its programs, as well as establishing a long-term strategic vision.

With a staff of 25, she will oversee the development of exhibits, educational programs and public events. The museum connects the present generation to the history of farming and ranching in New Mexico, inspiring a deeper appreciation and understanding of the state’s rich heritage.

She will report to the Department of Cultural Affairs cabinet secretary, as well as with the governor-appointed board and Friends of the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, coordinating policy and fundraising initiatives.

“We are excited to have Ms. Reed as executive director of the Farm & Ranch Museum, which stewards a unique and important aspect of our state’s history, and vital part of our economy,” Cultural Affairs Secretary Debra Garcia y Griego said in a statement. “Her appreciation for history, agriculture, and education, as well as her considerable experience with organizational management, will enable her to advance the museum’s mission and programs.”

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