What do you get when you pair a Business major with a fifth-generation pecan farmer? An agricultural legacy. Kristen ‘03 and Winston ‘03 Millican launched a website while in college that paved the way for their careers.
The Millicans’ story has incredible roots. Winston’s great-great-grandfather, E.E. Risien, is credited with finding the “Mother” Pecan tree in San Saba, which produced a pecan with a thinner shell that people could break apart more easily to revel the meat. He used pecans from this tree to plant an orchard, conducted research into pollen qualities and grafted trees together, beginning the development of many varieties of pecan trees still utilized by other orchards.
During college, the Millicans had the idea of moving away from their traditional wholesale model and developing products like pecan butter and candy from their crop and became one of the earliest pecan companies to use the internet to sell their goods. Winston noted that A&M professors helped them to become successful. “There were so many useful classes and helpful experts that led us to where we are today,” he said. "If you want to know anything about pecans, you're going to want to talk to smeone from Texas A&M."
Many of their products, like their pecan pie, started as a family recipe that they scaled up for production. "We want to share out love for this product with families from all around, " Kristen said. "We're not just creating food; we're creating memories."
The Millicans believe that Texas A&M is creating the next generation of agriculturalists. "There is so much to be taught and Texas A&M has done a great job of keeping the flame going in agriculture," Kristen said. "It's an industry that needs to be advocated for."
The Millicans try to make it to College Station at least once every football season and they love to attend the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences tailgate and visit with their peers and professors. "You get to see new people every year and watch how the Aggie agricultural legacy is being continued," Winston said.
Their oldest daughter, Anna, has already taken an interest in continuing the Aggie legacy for the family and can't wait to begin her own Aggie journey. She hopes to be part of the Class of '29.