Cervantes inducted into NMSU Entrepreneur Hall of Fame at virtual reception

Dino Cervantes ’85, a local farmer and chile processor, was named the 2020 inductee into the NMSU Entrepreneur Hall of Fame by Arrowhead Center and the Office of the Vice President for Research. He was honored at a virtual reception in December 2020.

Cervantes Enterprises, Inc. consists of a chile processing facility and a 1,400-acre farming operation that produces crops such as chile, cotton, pecans and alfalfa.

Cervantes’ father, Orlando, had been growing vegetables but needed a new path when commodity prices dropped in the 1970s. Orlando Cervantes came up with an idea to grow chile peppers, and contacted the McIlhenny Company, producers of Tabasco brand hot sauce, to find out if he could grow peppers for them.

In addition to the farming side of the business, which Dino Cervantes continues to manage, the food processing operation now processes in six minutes what it produced that entire first day in the barn when the operation began. The company sells its products to most major hot sauce, wing sauce and spicy food manufacturers worldwide.

Cervantes provides support to NMSU and mentors young entrepreneurs through Arrowhead Center.

Cassie McClure ’06 ’08