Today we celebrate My Dad, Mark David Salopek
This is by far the most difficult blog to write, so bear with me, my sweet friends. Remember that bloodline I referred to in my last post!? Yup, same is true here. Mark was the complete opposite of quiet and docile. You heard this man coming wayyyy before you saw him. He also, was a man of vision. He was extremely intelligent, very outspoken and was willing to take a risk if he believed in the vision. He was convicted in his opinions but always willing to listen and learn from others. He was a big picture thinker. After years, upon years, driving around the farm with Dad seeing each new farm develop, I still don’t think he ever imagined that the pecan farm would be what it is today. I, a native New Mexican, am still amazed every time I drive down the riverbanks of the Mesilla Valley and see what my Dad, and his brothers; James and Benny, worked their entire lives to create. I sometimes take the beautiful view for granted, forgetting what it took to create what we get to enjoy today. There is no denying that the lush, vibrant, green pecan trees painted against a bright blue sky with Organ Mountains in a distant have become a staple of the New Mexico landscape and we have my dad and uncles, and many other pecan farming families to thank for that. They have literally given their blood, sweat and tears to make sure the farm became successful. These men, together, worked as team, endured the good and the bad, and continue to work as a family to produce a labor of love. This Father’s Day week we honor you Dad! We honor your leadership; your vision and we honor your life that you gave to the pecan industry so we can enjoy the fruits of your labor. Just as I heard you tell strangers day after day, our orchards are your orchards. You loved sharing what you created with the world. You left a beautiful legacy that I get to watch your sons and nephews carry on. Thank you Dad for the legacy you created, the values you instilled in us and the opportunity you gave to me to live my dream!
Legacy pecans is my opportunity, my opportunity to give back to the community, my opportunity to be an entrepreneur, and my opportunity to serve the greater Las Cruces community, and it all started by my great grandfather moving to America so he could have the opportunity to better his life. I would have to say it has come full circle not only did he create an opportunity for his immediate family to secure a better future, an opportunity for my father and brothers to farm some of the finest pecans in the world, he created an opportunity for me to carry on his legacy and create a better future for generations to come. Thank you Dad for believing in me and showing me what it means to have a passion with a purpose. The future is ours, learn and honor the past to grow our future, thank you to all the dads who make it possible for your kids to shape their future!
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