Interviews conducted by the Oral History Program are based on a standardized list of questions (called a protocol) arranged in major interview categories. Click on the links below to see a list of interviews and the interview protocol for that category.
Farm and Ranch Folks
- Agricultural practices and lifestyles of farmers, ranchers, and their families.
Pioneers of Knowledge
- People who made major advances in the research, development, and innovations associated with New Mexico agriculture or rural life.
- Rural New Mexicans whose lives intersect with agricultural and rural life, including schoolteachers, veterinarians, and agricultural extension agents.
Working the Land
- Individuals and their families whose occupation is wholly agriculture and work for Farm and Ranch folks, such as cowboys, field workers, and ranch managers.
- Interviews with farmers, ranchers, politicians, and other supporters who, in the 1980s and early '90s, played key roles in establishing the Museum or its supporting foundation, originally called the Farm and Ranch Heritage Institute. This material was used to develop the 1998 exhibit "From the Grassroots."
Prisoners of War in New Mexico Agriculture
- Part of a major research and exhibition project that was recognized with a national award in 2003. The Museum interviewed over eighty individuals associated with the use of German and Italian POWs who worked in New Mexico agriculture from 1942 to 1946???including camp workers & guards, farmers, town folk, and former POWs. This, the largest known oral history collection on a state's POW program, was used to develop the 2002 exhibit "To Get the Job Done," a title based on a quote from one of the farmers explaining why he hired the POWs.
The Oral History Program also engages in special interview projects
or sub-protocols (in addition to the above categories) on specific
subjects or in collaboration with other institutions. Where
available, abstracts of these interviews are included in one of the
above categories. Contact the Oral History Program at the New
Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum for more information.
- Spanish Heritage Horses sub-protocol to Farm & Ranch Folks
- Many individuals and groups make claims that they have scientifically identified and bred Spanish horses or mustangs that are direct blood descendants of those that arrived in the Southwest in the 1500s and 1600s. This ongoing project is expected to eventually contribute to a temporary exhibit on the subject.
- Bracero Program sub-protocol to Working the Land
Following on the success of the POWs in New Mexico Agriculture project, the Museum plans to work with the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Texas-El Paso's Institute of Oral History to collect interviews with Mexican Braceros, their employers, and program workers from the mid-1940s to the 1960s.