Before Plano was a city sprawling with hundreds of thousands of people, it was a small town, like any other in Texas. Farmers such as the Haggards settled into the area and grew cotton, raised sheep and donkeys and produced crops.
As suburban areas in the metroplex grew in population, most farmers moved north to more rural areas.
But not the Haggards.
Planoites know the Haggard name. Besides the farm, the name resides on a middle school, library and a park downtown. But the history of the farm goes back four generations to C.S. Haggard.
C.S. settled the area in 1884 with 123 acres and started a family line of Planoites that is still growing five generations later.
Now, Rodney Haggard, a fourth-generation Haggard who grew up on the family farm, continues the legacy with Chisolm Development Company, which was put together to preserve some of Plano’s farm heritage.
“It’s been a blessing for sure,” Rodney says. “We’ve gone from a farm [town] to an unbelievable city. It was probably only 2,500 to 5,000 people when I was growing up here. We had airplanes flying over the fields and my grandfather would move sheep from one side of town to the other… it was a lot of fun.”
“With the city growing and streets going through our property, we kind of had to figure out a way to pay for all the streets,” Rodney says. “So we started in the development business and kind of learned it ourselves, formed partnerships with different lenders.”
With Haggard Farms still in operation, it is one of the longest-running businesses in the United States and the third oldest in Texas, according to a study. However, the amount of farmland has decreased over the years as development continues in the area.
“We’ve been really blessed to be here; there’s not many of us left anymore,” Rodney says. “We really cherish still being part of the community and still trying to make a contribution.”
Now, a mixed-use development at the corner of Parkwood Boulevard and Spring Creek Parkway is set to break ground soon. The first phase of the development will include farm-themed restaurant The Almanac, a hotel, a pond and a greenhouse.
By the end of the development, there will be more than 700,000 square feet of offices, 700 multifamily residential units, a 98-room hotel, a retail village, a senior housing community, townhomes and more than two dozen acres of land for parks and open spaces.
The project was approved in December 2021, and after months of rezoning and council meetings, the project is set to start the first phase in May. The “live-work-play” development has been vocally supported by the Haggards, Mayor John Muns and several of the council members.
Over the years, many have expressed interest in developing the land, but the Haggards put emphasis on keeping the farm-feel and history of the area alive while developing to keep up with the growing city, Rodney says.
“We never imagined Plano would be what it is now. It is truly rewarding to be able to develop things like this and make it be something significant that people remember,” Rodney says.