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NMSU's Chile Pepper Institute named 'Best of the Road' in Rand McNally atlas

For years, research done by New Mexico State University's Chile Pepper Institute has helped put the state's chiles on the map. Now, the institute itself is on the map, literally, as a "must-see" destination in Rand McNally's 2010 Road Atlas Best of the Road program.

Student Autumn Martinez displays an ornamental chile plant, one of numerous chile-related items at NMSU's Chile Pepper Institute in Gerald Thomas Hall. (NMSU Photo by Robert Yee)

"We are thrilled that Rand McNally recommends the Chile Pepper Institute in their atlas," said Paul Bosland, director of the Chile Pepper Institute. "It's an honor to know that people traveling in New Mexico can see us on the map and enjoy our institute along their way."

According to the mapmaker, the publication is America's No. 1 road atlas. It provides five Best of the Road trips along with trip-planning tools, from detailed maps to mileage charts. The 2010 atlas is now available in stores.

"Every year our editors seek out and drive some of the best, most scenic road trip routes in the nation to find our Best of the Road winners," said Rand McNally Editorial Director Laurie Borman.

The Chile Pepper Institute is an international nonprofit organization devoted to education, research and archiving information related to chile peppers. Located in NMSU's Gerald Thomas Hall, the institute is part of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

The Chile Pepper Institute is one of a handful of stops identified in Rand McNally's trip through New Mexico. The 2010 Road Atlas provides five road trips in regions throughout states such as New York, Oregon and South Carolina. Each trip features photos, an inset map and other similar destinations that readers might enjoy.