Thursday, September 9, 2010

Chile Excellence and Chile Pepper Institute at NMSU Hard to Find

You can’t call the Marketing and Development Division of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture. That’s because on department’s the contact-us list, only the area code and the first three digits of the director’s phone number show. As of this writing, the number is 575-646- ????. Take a look at

Department Secretary Dr. I. Miley Gonzalez has been on Bill Richardson’s “trade missions” to Cuba. I don’t know if there is any causation between Dr. Gonzales’ travel and the missing number, but the correlation is there.

Look around a bit on the department site and you will find a program to market fresh green chile in cities around the country. What a good idea. But which cities? That’s the rub. The cities are not listed on the website. So how do New Mexicans tell their friends? To find the cities, you must deduce the need to call the Marketing and Development Division which has the incompletely listed number. I got to the division yesterday by calling Dr. Gonzales office (575-646-3007) and being crabby about the lack of a division number.

If you want to know which cities offer fresh green chile, call Dr. Gonzales office, get transferred to the marketing division, ask for a marketing specialist and then ask about cities.

The division also houses the department’s public information person, though the website doesn’t tell you. The woman, whose name is omitted here because I think she is innocent of the sins of the environment within which she works, is a successor to the department’s previous several-person information-services group.

The ag department’s website also lacks mention, or at least obvious mention, of the Chile Pepper Institute,, which is, the institute's website says, “dedicated to educating the world about the wonders of chile peppers.”

Starting Sunday the 12th, the institute hosts the 20th annual International Pepper Conference. The institute seems to be the world center for all things chile. It’s even housed in an ag department building.

Why no mention? No clue. Bureaucratic jealousy, perhaps? But hey, the boss has been busy annually commuting to Cuba and developing zero trade business for New Mexico.

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