Classified Job Listing,

NM Department of Cultural Affairs

Job Description

Executive Director

New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum

The New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces, a division of the State of New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), is seeking an exceptional individual to fill the position of Executive Director.  This is a Governor Exempt position. 


The museum has annual attendance of around 84,000 in paid visitation and educational outreach participation, and an annual budget of approximately $1.9 million, generated from public and private sources. The Director is responsible for the programmatic, operational, and financial management of the museum complex, containing multiple buildings and structures on a 47-acre campus.


The exterior contains over 25 acres exhibiting and interpreting the animals, crops, and methods of modern production agriculture in New Mexico. There are four large barns, numerous cattle pens, alleys, and associated structures housing living collections of cattle and sheep. The major interior element is the 95,000 sq. ft. Bruce King Museum Building that houses over 15,000 historic artifacts interpreting the 4,000 year old history of agriculture in New Mexico, as well as a gift shop, catering concession, meeting rooms, auditorium, and office space.


Position Summary:  The Executive Director is appointed by the Cabinet Secretary of DCA and is responsible to the Governor, the DCA Cabinet Secretary, and an 11-member governing board appointed by the Governor. The Director should have a demonstrated ability in the administration of complex organizations serving multiple community-based constituencies and audiences. The director shall be a person with previous administrative experience in a museum or institution of related character and shall have a degree, or the equivalent thereof, in one or more fields of agriculture from an institution of higher learning. Candidate must have a successful record in strategic planning, grant-writing, management, and fundraising. The Director coordinates efforts with the Friends of the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum Inc., an independent 501(c)(3). The Director leads a staff of 25 state employees, supplemented by approximately 100 volunteers.


Job Duties:  Administer and operate the museum in accordance with applicable statutes and rules. Maintain, lead, and motivate staff and volunteers. Directly supervise three senior staff members: the Deputy Director of Finance & Operations, the Deputy Director of Museum Programs, and the Deputy Director of Agricultural Operations. Provide for the fiscal responsibility of the division. Ensure that fiscal staff is trained and proficient in all aspects of budget preparation, budget management, and procurement requirements. Propose budgets for operations and capital improvements, in conjunction with DCA initiatives, priorities, and yearly legislative efforts. Oversee the development of exhibits and programs of an educational nature for the benefit of the public, particularly students. Exhibits and programs should be cost effective, with the goal of being self-sustaining and increasing revenue. Direct research, preservation, and conservation of the collections for the benefit of the public. Recommend acquisitions to the board, by donation or other means, of collections and related materials appropriate to the mission of the museum. Increase public support for the museum and its programs by enhancing marketing strategies and increasing visibility. Build visitation, education, and outreach through new and existing public educational programs and exhibits. Deepen partnerships with other regional cultural institutions, especially with other DCA divisions, including resource sharing, marketing, cross-promotion of programs and activities, and the development of regional educational and public programs. Enhance the relationship between the museum and the Friends of the NM Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, Inc., to increase financial support for museum programs and ensure coordination of efforts in pursuit of public and private funding. Increase earned revenue through admissions, public program fees, rental concessions and other initiatives, with assistance from the Friends and in coordination with DCA priorities. Cooperate with educational institutions, and other agencies and political subdivisions of state, tribal and federal governments to establish, maintain and extend the programs of the museum. Ensure that the museum maintains representation on the Convention and Visitors Bureau Advisory Board of the City of Las Cruces.


Characteristics of the Ideal Candidate:  The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum is high performing and fiscally stable, with well-trained and dedicated staff and broad community support. The museum is poised for the next level of development and operation. The ideal candidate for this position will possess the knowledge, expertise, and skills to guide the museum forward. Key qualities of the successful candidate are:

  • Innovation in exhibit and public programs that combine a traditional museum setting, living collections, and a modern cattle operation to tell the history of New Mexico farming and ranching in a dynamic manner.
  • Entrepreneurship to maximize earned revenue opportunities in alignment with the mission of the museum and its public charge, while serving as a resource to the Friends in pursuing new unearned revenue streams.
  • Relationship-building to continue developing a productive partnership with the board, the Friends, volunteers, and community to strengthen support for the museum.
  • Partnership to expand and build collaboration with other cultural institutions, especially with other DCA divisions across the state.


The Director will work within the DCA History and Heritage Group and will actively collaborate with other divisions within that unit, as well as support initiatives with the DCA Arts and Sciences Group and other DCA divisions. The position reports to the DCA Cabinet Secretary through the Chair of the History and Heritage Group. The Director will have an authentic commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in staffing, programming, and engagement. Compensation: $93,000 annual salary plus benefits and PERA retirement. References upon request.


For more information, see https://www.nmfarmandranchmuseum.org/ 

You may also visit: http://www.nmculture.org/about/employment/executive-director-new-mexico-farm-ranch-heritage-museum


Application deadline is Tuesday, June 30, 2020.  Please submit a cover letter and resume to: Executive.Search@state.nm.us.


Contact Information
Jane Egan