Culture Series: Fabian Garcia and the Chile Pepper Connection
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
In this free presentation, Peter A. Kopp will share his recent research findings on Fabián García.
While many in the region know García as the “Father of New Mexico Chile,” there has been surprisingly little written about him and his larger contributions to agricultural innovation that transformed landscapes, economics, and societies across the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. Kopp will discuss García’s story within the contexts of regional transnational history and through his connections to agricultural innovators across North America via his studies at Cornell University and work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Not to be lost in the bigger picture, however, was García’s intimate connection to the land, water, and people of the Mesilla Valley, and, particularly, his life’s mission to recruit and mentor Hispanic students from both sides of the border.
Peter A. Kopp is an Associate Professor of History and the Director of the Public History Program at New Mexico State University. His research and teaching specialties reside in the environmental history of the North American West and the history of agriculture and food. Kopp is the author of Hoptopia: A World of Agriculture and Beer in Oregon’s Willamette Valley (University of California Press, 2016), winner of the American Historical Association’s Pacific Coast Branch Book Award. Currently, he is writing a biography of Fabián García (the “Father of New Mexico Chile”) and was recently awarded a faculty grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support the project.