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New Mexico

New Mexico

It is easy to think of New Mexico as a desert state where not much happens agriculturally, but even before modern irrigation techniques native peoples were farming as far back as 2,500 years ago.

While New Mexico is seeing its rural counties decline, it does pose the question, are these losses due to the changes in farming over the last 50 years, or is this part of a change in another industry?

Currently with oil leases booming in parts of eastern New Mexico, places like Eddy & Lea Counties are projected to increase population dramatically over the next decade because of renewed activity in the oil sector. They both grew by 8% from 2010 to 2017.

Meanwhile just north of them is De Baca County, which has one of state’s larger areas of farmland along the Pecos River, has lost 11% of its population in the same time.

With multiple different industries making or breaking rural communities, regardless of the amount of agriculture going on there or not. New Mexico poses many questions as to what will it take to sustain rural communities of any kind in the Twenty-first Century.

An animal pen of some kind sits abandoned in the presence of Shiprock Peak, San Juan County, New Mexico. Despite heavy farming in the area along the Animas & San Juan Rivers, the county is set to lose 5% of it’s population between 2010 to 2020.

Images from New Mexico

Lost Americana is about telling the stories of the people who live in rural America.

•Have you lived in the same rural area since the 1970/80s?

•Were you the last class to graduate from a rural school before it closed its doors forever?

•Do you know of a small town (under 2,000 people) that is a shell of it’s former self?

•Do you just what to give me some feedback on the topics we cover?

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