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Community Introduction

Community Introduction

Lovington, New Mexico is a community of approximately 9,500 citizens, and is located on the Eastern Plains of New Mexico. The level terrain is part of the storied Llano Estacado, or “Staked Plains,” an area rich in the history of the Southwest. Lovington is the County Seat of Lea County, in the southeast corner of the state.

Lovington was founded in 1908, before the formation of Lea County and before the admission of the State of New Mexico to the Union in 1912. As a result, the state prides itself in many pioneer traditions that are reflected in community life and activities, such as the annual Lea County Fair & Rodeo. Lovington’s economy is well diversified. The traditional agricultural base of farming and ranching was supplemented by the discovery of major oil and gas deposits in the 1930s. Today, the Lovington area is the most active part of the Permian Basin that covers a large part of West Texas and Eastern New Mexico. Oil and gas wells dot the plains, and help give the county a tax value that exceeds $1 billion.

With an average rainfall of 17 inches per year, agriculture would be limited were it not for irrigation supplied by the Ogallala formation that underlies most of the county–in which Lovington is the center. Lovington area agriculture benefits greatly from prolific wells at shallow depths (typically 50-125 feet). Lovington is located in a transition zone where intense farming spills into the county from Texas and where the great ranches of the West begin. Agriculture is diversifying into dairying. There have been dairy operators in the

Lovington area for over half a century, but the 1990s were marked by a major increase in the number and size of dairies. Operators from California, New York and the Midwest have been drawn to the Lovington area. Industry statistics show dairy animals here have the nation’s highest output.

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