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State extends chile harvesting labor program through January 2022


Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) announced Nov. 17 that the state’s Chile Labor Incentive Program (CLIP) has been extended to the end of January 2022 to cover the New Mexico red chile pepper harvest.

Lujan Grisham announced in August that the state was committing $5 million to form CLIP, a wage supplement program for the chile industry to combat concerns of a labor shortage that could have impacted the 2021 production of the state’s signature crop, NMDA said in a news release.

Administered by NMDA, the program has supplemented wages for nearly 3,000 New Mexico chile harvest workers since its launch, and ensured a successful green chile harvest in the fall of 2021, the news release said.

Through CLIP, claims may be made for financial assistance for labor expenses incurred through Jan. 31, 2022, or upon full utilization of allocated funds, NMDA said. The deadline for all applications and claims is Feb. 28, 2022.

“We have allocated over $2.6 million in program funding thus far, and it’s important we continue the program’s efforts to ensure a timely harvest of the red chile crop,” NMDA Secretary Jeff Witte said. “I look forward to our agency continuing to work with industry partners to successfully carry out the governor’s vision for these funds and this support.”

Visit www.nmda.nmsu.edu.