The New Mexico Chile Association named chile entrepreneur, Lou Biad, as the 2021 Member of the Year during their annual association meeting on February 2nd 2021. The annual meeting usually occurs in conjunction with NMSU’s New Mexico Chile Conference however due to gathering restrictions the event was held virtually this year.
Entrepreneur Lou Biad, has dedicated his life to the chile industry. Mr. Biad’s father started in the industry by planting chile’s in Arrey, NM in 1951. Lou then built the first chile dehydrator in New Mexico in 1958. Mr. Biad was the first to bring mechanical dehydration to the industry which revolutionized the way red chile was processed. Before Mr. Biad’s invention of dehydrating chile, chile was dehydrated over a span of multiple days on roof tops and sand hills.
Mr. Biad served on NMSU’s Chile Task Force and was one of the founding members of the New Mexico Chile Association. It was under Mr. Biad’s leadership and vision that formed the industry led chile association to advocate for the industry.
This is the first award that the chile association has ever given out.
“This may be a Member of the Year Award but its more of a lifetime achieve award in this case,” said Gene Baca, Bueno Foods. “Lou Biad’s contributions to the industry span over decades and I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving. We are all indebted to Lou for all he has done for this industry”
Joram Robbs, the New Mexico Chile Association’s Executive Director, presented the award to Lou Biad at one of their chile dehydrating plants in Radium Springs, NM.
“The word that describes Lou Biad is passion. He is extremely passionate about the chile industry and that follows through with anything he does or puts his mind to,” said Dino Cervantes, Cervantes Enterprises. “Lou saw the need for the industry to work together to solve issues that threatened the industry, and his legacy lives on through this association. There could not be a better person to receive this award than Lou Biad”.
Mr. Biad turns 90 this year and he is still heavily involved in the chile industry through his sons who now operate the family business. Congratulations Mr. Lou Biad!
On the Grill
As we continue to wade through these uncharted waters of Covid-19 restrictions, the NMCA is here for you to help provide resources and a voice in Santa Fe. This information is on resources available and what the NMCA Board of Directors are doing to help protect our industry. Please reach out if you have any questions, need help with setting up a Covid-19 prevention plan for your operation, or have an input to the conversations we are having with the NM Environment Department (NMED).
Below are differences between the CDC and the NM Department of Health and the NM Environment Department.
Small Business Administration – Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) (federal)
New Mexico is one of the first states to be approved for the SBA’s $50 billion disaster loan assistance program. Disaster loan assistance will be available for businesses in all 33 counties. Press release issued 3/17/20.
Chile Association Members,
Unemployment Insurance Benefits Expand for Covid-19
Eligibility for unemployment benefits extended to workers whose hours are reduced or who are laid off, including due to temporary business closures, because of Covid 19 public health emergency. Under a previously announced emergency provision to the Unemployment Insurance (UI) rules, the work search requirement for affected workers has been waived for up to four weeks by the Department of Workforce Solutions. This allows employees at businesses that close temporarily to access benefits without having to search for new position while they wait for their employers to restart operations. Online by going to the New Mexico Workforce Solutions Connection Online System at www.jobs.state.nm.us by phone at 1-877-664-6984.
Chile producers interested in reducing hand-weeding costs learned about this camera-guided cultivator equipped with with both close cultivation tools and in-row finger weeders in chile peppers, as demonstrated by Ed Curry and the University of Arizona (Drs. Bill McCloskey and Mark Siemens) in collaboration with manufacturer, K.U.L.T. Kress, and Keithly-Williams (Yuma).
The New Mexico Chile Association (NMCA) and Western Growers (WG) have announced a strategic collaboration between their respective associations. The two groups have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that allows them to coordinate on business matters and policy issues of mutual interest. Additionally, the MOU gives New Mexico chile growers access to a host of WG member benefits, such as informational webinars, H-2A labor services, transportation services and expertise in trade and commodity services.