Farming New

Proposed highway could put local organic farm out of business

Proposed highway could put local organic farm out of business

KVUE — Tim Miller is not your average farmer, and his five acres in Kyle isn't average either.

Miller runs one of the oldest organic farms in Texas. Millberg Farm grows everything from his famous multiplying green onions to tigger melons to organic pecans. He doesn't use a tractor, has no irrigation system and only uses rainwater to water his produce by hand. "I just find it, that's the way I was brought up and that's the way I'm going to continue my lifestyle," said Miller.

But progress could end his lifestyle — and livelihood. Hays County Commissioners and TxDOT want to expand FM 150 from I-35 to Highway 290 to create a trans-county corridor that bypasses downtown Kyle and moves traffic.

"The current citizens out here, or the population and the projected population is just going to show that all of those roads across Hays County between now and the year 2025 are going to be overcrowded," said Hays County Commissioner Ray Whisenant.

Engineers are in the very early phases of planning the corridor, but one proposed portion is about 200 yards from Miller's farm. "Vehicle emissions will be on everything out here," Miller said.

Miller was told by an U.S. Environment Protection Agency scientist that to keep his organic certification the highway has to be one mile away so his rain water isn't polluted. "The federal government and counties and cities are all advocating the use and eating — better eating — through organics. Alright, here you have an established organic farm and you want to put a highway right next to me," said Miller.

Commissioner Whisenant said the route isn't set in stone and the county and TxDOT will host several public meetings and ask for public input before moving forward.


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Picture of carrots and spade fork
A local farm is threatened by a proposed highway exspansion. Photo by Marshall Hinsley