Today we celebrate my grandfather, Tony
Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to meet Grandpa Tony before he passed, so everything I have learned about him has been through stories and trust me, there were plenty of stories to be told. One thing that remains true in the bloodline is Salopek men do not tend to be quiet and docile, that was also true of my grandfather. He was a risk taker and bold in his decisions. He was the eldest son and the first to start out on his own. In 1944 Tony bought 150 acres of swampy, undeveloped land near the Mesilla Dam, which is now our family’s headquarters. The pecan industry takes A LOT of upfront capital and A LOT of time and patience before you begin to see a profit. Back then it took a pecan tree, on average, 12 years to produce a profitable crop! In today’s world of instant gratification and lack of patience, I commend all farmers, especially my grandfather and Deane Stahmann, for the ability to take the risk of planting pecans trees. The first real profitable pecan crop was harvested in 1984, the year Tony passed away. Tony was a man of vision. This Father’s Day week we honor you Grandpa Tony and the vision you had for growing pecan trees in the Mesilla Valley.