NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – At a chile farm in Lemitar, New Mexico green chile is mere days away from being picked. Farmers throughout the state have been struggling with the rise in costs due to inflation, a decline in the labor force, and overall less chile production. “Our farmers are going to assure that the consumers are going to have New Mexico chile on their plates,” says Travis Day from the New Mexico Chile Association.
The New Mexico Chile Association sponsors a certification program to label locally grown chile, with the hope being to separate New Mexican-grown chile from the others. While many local farms, particularly the smaller ones have taken a hit this year, many still remain optimistic about the future of the state’s primary export. “We’ve crossed hurdles every year. It’s how we’re made,” chile farmer Glen Duggins said. “We don’t quit.”