Federal grants of $429,000 have been awarded to the New Mexico Department of Agriculture for the promotion and production of specialty crops, including chile peppers, pecans and grapes.
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan announced the grants for seven projects that he said could help expand market opportunities for New Mexico's farmers.
He said the state plans to use some of the money to partner with the New Mexico Wine Growers Association to develop promotional materials for tourists and a smartphone application to help people find wineries in the state.
Grant proceeds also will go for new marketing efforts, including restaurant promotions, to increase demand for chile peppers.
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