2015 Blue Legacy Award ~ Agriculture Winners


Mr. Tim P. Miller is the owner and operator of Millberg Farm, a Certified Organic operation on just under five acres in Kyle. Since 1989, Millberg Farm has produced fruits, pecans, and heirloom vegetables using only captured rainwater for irrigation. Mr. Miller employs numerous water saving best management practices on his land including use of drought tolerant varieties, contour farming, furrow dikes, crop residue management, and conservation tillage. He also uses trench composting, often backfilling the trenches with wood chips that absorb excess moisture before being incorporated into the soil.

Mr. Miller has created a mobile rainwater harvesting system in order to collect water in different crop areas throughout the growing season. He also collects rainwater from roof structures and has refurbished a cistern built in 1916 that is now capable of holding 17,000 gallons of water. Mr. Miller hosts numerous workshops and seed swaps at his family farm each year and gives presentations about his successful water conservation practices at Millberg Farm, including a presentation at the 2015 conference of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group. Mr. Miller has been implementing and refining water saving and organic farming practices for over twenty-five years, and his commitment and dedication to educating others in his community and beyond is remarkable.


Dr. Shad D. Nelson is a professor of horticulture and soil sciences at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, where he also serves as the Chair of the Department of Agriculture, Agribusiness, and Environmental Sciences. He has advanced water conservation in South Texas and across the globe through extensive research on improving irrigation efficiencies and water conservation methods for citrus growers through his affiliation with the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Citrus Center in Weslaco. Understanding the need to make more efficient use of limited irrigation water in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Dr. Nelson has focused his research on finding technologies that not only save water but are low-cost and easy to implement. Dr. Nelson has also been a huge asset to the ongoing efforts of the Texas Project for Ag Water Efficiency’s outreach campaign, lending his expertise to widely-distributed factsheets and videos. Dr. Nelson's commitment to finding workable solutions, and to putting these technologies in the hands of farmers who can use them, has earned him considerable respect in the citrus community. He leads the way in helping citrus producers adopt needed water-saving methods, while also being at the forefront of research in his field.