As a gateway to the Four Corners area, Farmington offers beautiful scenery, temperate weather and a rich history that stretches back nearly 2,000 years. This San Juan River valley land has been shared by many Native American tribes, including the Navajo, Jicarilla Apache, Ute Mountain Ute, Southern Ute and Hopi. As its name implies, Farmington's roots are tied to the agricultural industry through early farmers and settlers. A current center for energy production in New Mexico, Farmington embodies the delicate balance between reverence for the past, planning for the future and conserving natural resources.
Farmington (originally Farmingtown) was first settled in 1876 by pioneers from Colorado. Navajos called it Totah, the meeting place of the waters, because three rivers meet in the area. The settlers soon developed a successful agricultural community with fruit, cattle and sheep as its principle products. Incorporated in 1900, Farmington remained essentially unchanged until the 1950s, when gas and oil development created a job and population explosion.
Gas, oil and coal production are still primary industries in Farmington. The surrounding area is one of the most important energy production sites in New Mexico. Coal comes from two nearby mines, the Navajo and San Juan. A proposal to build the new Desert Rock Energy Facility-a coal-fired power plant on Navajo land near Farmington-sparked debate between the Navajo Nation, the builders of the plant, government agencies and members of the Farmington community. These disputes, which have centered on issues such as air quality, visibility and employment, highlight the struggle to balance competing forces in the area.
The city of Farmington accommodates a mostly urban population of more than 42,000. Neighborhoods and districts of Farmington accommodate around 15,000 houses, out of which more than 14,000 are occupied. Of the occupied houses, about two thirds are owner-occupied, while renters occupy the rest. The median home price in Farmington is $177,000. This price is slightly higher than the statewide median price, which is around $155,000. A house can be rented for $510 a month. The neighborhoods of Farmington have a housing density of around 560 houses or condos per square mile.
The residents and visitors of Farmington will need a car or another mode of transportation to get around town. Most of the places to go, such as grocery stores, restaurants and schools, are scattered throughout the city.
The Farmington Museum operates four facilities in the area that provide a great introduction to the history and culture of the area.
Biking: Popular areas for biking include Kinsey's Ridge, Pinon Mesa and Farmington Lake. The Road Apple Trail is a 30-mile loop used for the annual Road Apple Rally, the longest-running annual mountain bike race in the country. The Rally also offers a shorter, 15-mile loop for beginners, as well as a kids' race.
Golf: Pinon Hills golf course opened in 1989 and was instantly recognized by Golf World magazine as "one of the best new desert golf courses." In 2002, Golf Digest named it the best municipal golf course in the country. The unique landscape contributes to the challenge and beauty of Pinon Hills, with shots over sandstone canyons and arroyos adding interest and challenge. Less-ambitious golfers can putter away at the 3-par Civitan municipal course.
Walking: Trails are available in many areas, including:
Baseball: Since 1965, summer in Farmington has been capped off by the Connie Mack World Series. Sponsored by the American Amateur Baseball Congress, the event is held in August at Ricketts Park, and draws the top youth teams from seven leagues all over the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Ricketts Park received the Beam Clay National Baseball Diamond of the Year Award in 1987, and the 6,100-seat field hosts softball and baseball games throughout the season.
The Totah Festival is an annual Native American art show, rug auction and pow-wow. Dances and exhibits showcase traditional arts of the area. Trading posts throughout the city also carry Native American jewelry and crafts.
The performing arts are well-represented, with the Lions Wilderness Outdoor Amphitheatre producing several outdoor shows each year. Other performance groups include the Silhouette Performing Arts Series at San Juan College, the Totah Theatre and the San Juan Symphony. The Farmington Civic Center offers a taste of Broadway in the Southwest.
Located between Farmington and Bloomfield on US Hwy 64, the new Sunray Park and Casino Lodge is the largest casino complex in the area. With a track for live horse racing and over 500 slot and video machines, Sunray Park is an exciting venture for those who enjoy gaming.