Cart 0

Fabian Garcia, Ph.D., Outstanding Biotechnologist--The Father of New Mexico Chile

Fabian Garcia, Ph.D., Outstanding Biotechnologist--The Father of New
Mexico Chile

Fabian Garcia, a Mexican American agronomist, devoted his life to science
and to the betterment of his community. Fabian Garcia started his career
in New Mexico at the turn of the century. He led the chile madness
developing the first modern chile variety, the Number 9 chile in 1921. His
insect-resistant chile became the first standard variety and the foundation
for subsequent varieties. He also laid the groundwork for the production
of other major crops of the Mesilla Valley--onions, cotton, and pecans.
Those who look back at the development of agriculture in New Mexico call
Garcia " the father of New Mexican Food Industry." His introduction of a
milder type made the chile and southwestern cuisine a household word in the
US. Chile is the third-most-lucrative cash crop in New Mexico, the
top-chile producing state of the union. The chile salsa is now replacing
ketchup and is sweeping the world.

Fabian Garcia was born in 1871 in Chihuahua, Mexico from humble parents.
He was brought to New Mexico when he was only two years old by his
grandmother after he lost both his parents. His grandmother's domestic
work led to a position in the home of the Cascades, who treated Garcia as
their own, providing him with a private tutor and later sending him to Las
Cruces College. Garcia went on to be a member of the first graduating
class of New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic arts in 1894.

He was a special student at Cornell University form 1899 to 1900 and
received an honorary degree from New Mexico A&M (later NMSU) in 1927, and
the University of New Mexico in 1943. Garcia was named the first director
of the State Agricultural Experiment Station in 1914. He filled this
position with enthusiasm and extraordinary productivity both as a
researcher and an administrator until he was taken ill in 1945. Fabian
Garcia died in August 1948, leaving his entire estate to New Mexico State
University, in part to provide a scholarship for Mexican American Youth. "I
want to help poor boys," he said, "for I know their hardship."

When you look at the beautiful pecan trees of the Mesilla Valley in
Southern New Mexico, some planted by Fabian Garcia himself, or when you
enjoy one of the many zesty chile specialties, or simply watch an Old El
Paso advertising on TV, remember the Mexican American who created a myth
out of chile.

{Special Thanks to HHS-HEO News e-mail list-  Editor, Carl Montoya}

Older Post Newer Post