By Angela Kocherga | Journal Staff Writer | Las Cruces Bureau – – Photo: Courtesy of New Mexico State University Library, Archives And Special Collections.

Photo: Fabián García, a Mexican immigrant whose pioneering research at New Mexico State University helped influence agriculture nationwide, will be inducted into the National Agricultural Center’s Hall of Fame in Kansas, joining the ranks of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Eli Whitney, among other notable contributors to agriculture.

Las Cruces – Fabián García, a pioneer in chile research, is the first New Mexican and Hispanic to be inducted into the National Agricultural Center’s Hall of Fame. García’s groundbreaking work in horticulture in the early 1900s laid the foundation for New Mexico’s chile pepper industry. In 1921 he released the “New Mexico 9” the first chile with a dependable pod size and heat that is the genetic precursor of all New Mexico chiles. He also introduced the grano onion breed key for New Mexico’s commercial onion production, and planted some of the first pecan trees in the Mesilla Valley, now the state’s top pecan producing region. He’s also credited with developing modern irrigated agriculture in New Mexico.

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