Arrey, New MexicoDownload
A New Mexico family’s chile processing and farming business has thrived through three generations, growing consistently to its current processing capacity of 4.4 million pounds of chiles annually.
As one of the largest processors in New Mexico’s Hatch Valley, M.A. and Sons is owned and operated by Mary Alice Garay, a former Ag New Mexico Farm Credit Services director, and her sons, Frank, Randy and Patrick. Despite a continuous decline in the state’s red chile industry, the Garays’ business has done nothing but grow. Mary Alice’s father operated the facility with just three drying tunnels, and over the years, she and her sons have added more drying capacity to reach the 16 tunnels they operate today.
The Garays’ own chiles comprise 15 percent of the crop that the plant processes, with the rest coming from 14 contract growers in the Hatch Valley and as far away as Mexico and Arizona. The chiles are processed into dried chile pods, chile powder, crushed chile, and as the result of a business diversification goal several years ago, into red chile puree.
Warren Russell, their Ag New Mexico lender, knows the family’s products are worth standing behind.
“As a consumer, I know that their products are better than others out there,” he says. “As their loan officer, I know for these reasons that their growth potential is huge.”
The Garay family has been working with Ag New Mexico since 2005.