STAR Announces Its Second Award Winning Capstone Project

Texas A&M Students win 3rd place in National Competition


Aguilares, TX.— STAR would like to congratulate their Texas A&M Capstone team, Ana Chen Reyes, Jacy Gray, and Madison Hodges for winning 3rd place in the AGCO National Student Design Competition. This national competition is held and judged by The American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers. The purpose of the AGCO National Student Design Competition, is to encourage undergraduate students to participate in the basic design of an engineering project useful to agriculture and related areas and to provide an arena of professionalism in which the student can experience peer recognition of a well conceived and executed design project.

This year’s Texas A&M team won for their design of a “Rural Garden in a Food Desert”. This design was their Capstone project that STAR (South Texas Advancement Resource) tasked them to complete.  STAR asked this team to provide a design for a vegetable garden on a 5-acre development on the farm, with harsh weather conditions, in Eastern Webb County, an area classified as a “food desert”. The project will employ rainwater harvesting and high tunnels to supplement a vegetable garden to prove that a sustainable model is a viable solution in South Texas. 

This Texas A&M team provided a design report that focused on 3 areas: Crop Selection and Crop Management, Garden Layout, and Irrigation. Based on their research and Design Report, STAR has begun implementation of this award-winning design. With partial funding from a USDA grant, STAR has constructed 2 of 4 high tunnels with completion scheduled for September. STAR will complete the irrigation system this Fall and start planting in January and February of 2021. To see a copy of this award winning Design Report, “Rural Garden in a Food Desert”, please visit STAR’s website at

About STAR: STAR (South Texas Advancement Resource) is a non-profit organization based in Webb County, Texas. Founded in 2016, STAR provides Research and Educational programs for sustainable farming and ranching in South Texas. To learn more about STAR, become a project sponsor, or to make a donation, you can visit our website at or call Bill Raney at 956-763-3624.

IFS Baen Poster  |   IFS – Rural Garden in a Food Desert – Design Report 

IFS – Rural Garden in a Food Desert