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Peter A. Kopp
New Mexico State University (Las Cruces, NM 88003-8002)
Horticulturalist Fabián García (1817-1947) and the Modernization of Agriculture along the US-Mexican Border

Research and writing a biography of Fabián Garcia (1871-1947), a horticulturalist and instructor at New Mexico State University.

I am writing a book on Fabián García (1871-1947), a horticulturist whose work transformed the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, and, indeed, the world, by introducing new commercial crops to consumers. García was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, but immigrated to New Mexico and became a U.S. citizen just before attending college and beginning his career as a professional horticulturist. He earned fame for hybridizing a relatively mild and easily canned chile pepper that launched a global chile industry. Yet, his life and legacy extends beyond this one plant. By writing this book for a general audience, my aim is to highlight a variety of historical issues that are relevant to the world we live in today. I want to connect foods we eat to their agricultural origins, while also demonstrating the ways that ethnicity, race, and racism frame these stories. In an era of unprecedented global warming, the book will also consider historically how horticulturists help desert-dwellers adapt to aridity.

Project fields:
Hispanic American Studies; History of Science; U.S. History

Awards for Faculty

Research Programs

$50,000 (approved)
$50,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2020 – 7/10/2021