Today we celebrate my great grandfather, Vide Salopek.
In 1923 my great grandfather came to America in hopes of achieving the American dream, little did he know that single act of courage would be what has allowed me the opportunity to write this very blog and share my business, which is my American dream.
My family has been growing pecan trees for four generations after my great grandfather left his wife and three children, the youngest being six weeks old and came to America from Croatia in hopes of living the American dream.
After struggles in the ranching business, in 1955 our family's first pecan tree was planted. When the family could have gone bankrupt several times due to natural disasters and economic downturns the family continued to exemplify courage and strength and persevered to obtain success and family unity.
Let me be the first to tell you, without the Mesilla Valley community we would not have a story to tell. It has not been an easy journey for our family, but with a single act of courage from my great grandfather and beloved community called Mesilla Valley we, together, have preserved and four generations later I have the opportunity to write this blog and share our story with you.
The desire to provide an opportunity for a better future for the community goes back to our foundation. One of my favorite family stories is of when my great-grandfather was finally able to bring his wife and children to America. My great grandmother didn’t understand… didn’t understand why he brought them to a place where they didn’t know the language, to a place where they had to start life all over and to a place that appeared to be worse than where they left. But my great-grandfather replied with a very simple but profound answer, “because in America we have OPPORTUNITY, we didn’t have that in Croatia.“ This Father’s Day we celebrate you, great grandfather Vide Salopek, for being part of this community and being a founding father of the pecan industry that has helped build jobs and create opportunities to help the New Mexico economy and still to this day, four generations later, has become part of the Mesilla Valley culture.