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NMSU’s New Mexico Chile Conference set for Feb. 3-4 in new location

Registration is now open for the world’s largest conference dedicated to chile peppers. The 2020 New Mexico Chile Conference hosted by New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute runs from Feb. 3-4 and will be in a new location at the Las Cruces Convention Center.


Chile Conference logo
The 2020 New Mexico Chile Conference hosted by New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute runs from Feb. 3-4 and will be in a new location at the Las Cruces Convention Center.
Sepia portrait of Fabian Garcia
The 2020 New Mexico Chile Conference hosted by New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute will honor Fabian Garcia, the Father of the New Mexico Chile Industry. Garcia was born in 1871 in Chihuahua, Mexico and graduated in 1894 as a member of the first graduating class of New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts (now NMSU). He passed away in 1948 from complication of Parkinson's Disease. (Courtesy photo)

This year’s conference will include experts who will speak on various topics including: developing and improving the New Mexico chile industry’s sustainable competitive advantage, molecular advances in breeding, the H2A program, updates on the New Mexico Chile Certification Program as well as afternoon processing and pest management breakout sessions.

“The agenda offers conference participants a wide assortment of information and education in growing, processing and enjoying chile peppers,” said Stephanie Walker, NMSU Cooperative Extension Service's vegetable specialist and conference chair.

The conference will feature booths from companies that can assist New Mexico chile pepper growers to sustain excellence and encourage profitable yields. Some of these companies include Western Blend Fertilizer, Biad Chili, LTD. CO. Presidio and Farm Credit of New Mexico.

“In addition to the production session, this year’s conference will also feature an afternoon processing track,” Walker said. “Talks on adding value to the chile harvest and ensuring safety of processed product also will be provided.”

A highlight each year is the student research poster competition. Students are encouraged to present their research findings to the public. Judges are recruited and posters awarded according to a specific criteria. The student with the top poster presentation will receive s a travel award to allow the student to attend a professional research conference of their choice.

Conference pre-registration for individuals is $140 and booth pre-registration is $475. After Jan. 18, individual prices will go up to $150 and walk-in registration booths will be $500. For more information on the conference, contact the Chile Pepper Institute at 575-646-3028 or register online at https://chile.nmsu.edu/conference.