Fabián García Founders' Award

Nomination Deadline:
March 1

Award Background:
Fabián García was not only an ingenious plant breeder and pioneering university administrator, he was also a caring humanitarian and generous philanthropist. Orphaned at age two in Mexico, his grandmother brought him to Southern New Mexico, where he worked for local fruit growers while becoming an American citizen. A member of our university's first graduating class in 1894, he later earned a master's degree in agricultural science in 1906, and honorary doctorates from both NMSU and UNM.

García was America's first Hispanic director of agricultural research for a land grant university - a position he held for 30 years. Even as an administrator, he continued his innovative plant breeding, publishing his research findings in both Spanish and English. Internationally acclaimed as the father of America's Mexican food industry, he also helped establish New Mexico's pecan industry and developed new varieties of cotton, apples, grapes, peaches and potatoes better suited to the state's arid climate. Throughout his life, he worked tirelessly to help young Hispanic students earn college degrees by paying their tuition, living expenses, and housing. He willed his entire estate to support NMSU's construction of a dormitory for those in need.

Award Criteria:
Nominations for the Fabián García Founders' Award should document the nominee's activities that have yielded significant benefit for New Mexico's agriculture, consumers, families, communities, students, economy and/or the environment. Evidence of work to provide opportunities to minority students, first generation college students, and/or those from rural backgrounds is a plus.

Any client, alumni, student, or employee of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences may nominate an individual by submitting a letter or email describing the performance and qualities of the nominee warranting the award. Supporting evidence and letters of support (not more than three) will be included.

Submission options:
Nomination may be submitted by email or paper, but only supporting documents included in the original nomination will be considered.

Typed nomination letters may be sent to ypalma@nmsu.edu.


Mail letters of nomination to:
Awards Committee c / o
Dean, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
P.O. Box 30003, MSC 3AG
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, NM 88003

On-campus address:


  • 2018 Jon Boren
  • 2017 Bruce Hinrichs
  • 2016 Andrew "Andy" Nunez
  • 2015 Jeanne Gleason
  • 2014 Jerry Hawkes
  • 2013 Scott Shafer
  • 2012 Marvin Clary
  • 2011 John Mexal
  • 2010 Ron Gurley
  • 2009 Steve Loring
  • 2008 Bill Sauble
  • 2007 Joe "Buddy" Viramontes
  • 2006 Joe Stell
  • 2004 Dinus Briggs
  • 2000 Joe E. Parker
  • 1999 Ray Powell, Jr.
  • 1998 Martin Steinman
  • 1998 Ellis Huddleston
  • 1997 C. Peter Magrath
  • 1996 Mary Liesner
  • 1995 Josie Pena
  • 1994 Ann Halligan
  • 1993 Javier Vargas
  • 1992 Ronald F. Cox
  • 1992 Lance Lujan
  • 1991 Leon A. Wagley
  • 1990 J. Patrick Jordan