ACES Heroes

Learn about our College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) heroes who made great contributions to the state of New Mexico, its agriculture, and New Mexico Cooperative Extension. 

Fabián García portrait

Fabián García

Horticultural pioneer and champion of education for all, García developed chile varieties that form the basis of all New Mexico type chile grown today. He donated his estate to help students.

Sam Steel

Sam Steel

Slated to be NMSU's first graduate, Steel was an outstanding student who would have earned a bachelor’s degree by age 17, had he not been killed just a few months before graduation.

Fabiola Cabeze de Baca sitting in chair with a book on her lap.

Fabiola C. de Baca

Cabeza de Baca established Extension programs in Hispanic and Pueblo communities. She then carried the wisdom and traditions of rural people to larger audiences.

Roy Nakayama

Roy Nakayama

A famed chile and pecan breeder, Nakayama contributed to huge economic impacts for New Mexico. He conducted research at NMSU for 32 years and developed important varieties of chile and pecans.

Jessie Fitzgerald

Jessie Fitzgerald

America’s first female County Agricultural Extension Agent, Fitzgerald served New Mexico communities and never stopped reaching for her dream, even when others said it was impossible.

Rose Pangborn

Rose Marie Pangborn

Pangborn helped to establish the modern discipline of sensory science and influenced generations of scientists with her warmth and determination to understand the human experience of food.

Anthony Bellotti in a field of plants

Anthony “Tony” Bellotti

Anthony ("Tony") Charles Bellotti, a renowned cassava entomologist, pioneered work on developing biological pest control methods for cassava to improve global nutrition and agricultural sustainability.

Image of Priscilla Grijalva

Priscilla Oliver Grijalva

Priscilla Grijalva pioneered the Expanded Nutrition Program in New Mexico. As an Extension Nutrition Specialist, Priscilla focused on underprivileged children and families.