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The New Mexico Chile Association (NMCA) has named chile entrepreneur Lou Biad as its 2021 member of the year, NMCA said in a news release. It’s the first award NMCA has given out.
The honor came during NMCA’s Feb. 2 virtual annual meeting.
Biad’s father started working in the industry by planting chiles in Arrey, New Mexico, in 1951, NMCA said. Lou Biad then built the first chile dehydrator in New Mexico in 1958. He was the first to bring mechanical dehydration to the industry, which revolutionized the way red chile was processed.
Biad served on New Mexico State University’s Chile Task Force and was one of the founding members of NMCA. It was Biad’s leadership and vision that formed the industry-led chile association to advocate for the industry.
NMCA Executive Director Joram Robbs presented the award to Biad at a chile-dehydrating plant in Radium Springs.
“The word that describes Lou Biad is passion,” said Cervantes Enterprises partner and NMCA Treasurer Dino Cervantes of Las Cruces. “He is extremely passionate about the chile industry and that follows through with anything he does or puts his mind to. 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.”
Biad turns 90 this year and he remains heavily involved in the chile industry with his sons, who now operate the family business, NMCA said.
NMCA is a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring the chile industry prospers in New Mexico. The organization has been representing the industry for more than a decade and is comprised of growers, processors and manufacturers.