Stan Windham served thirty-six years with Extension and prior to that, three years in Colorado in a Young Farmer type role. A native of Coffee County, he obtained his Bachelor of Science (Animal Science and Ag Education) from Colorado State University and a Master of Science (Agriculture) from Mississippi State.
Windham started his career with Extension as an Assistant County Agent in Conecuh County. In 1988 he moved to Coffee County, eventually becoming the CEC. In 2010 he took on the role at Extension of Assistant Director County Office Operations, a position which he held until his retirement in 2019.
Windham always felt that Extension was the right career fit for him. He could do work which benefitted others and allowed him to live where they always wanted to be. Looking back, he says “I believe I made the right choice because of the blessings I received.”
Good advice came from County Agent Herbert Oakley who said, “our Extension events and programs are people events and programs. They reach and serve people and should always do that – people come first.” Windham would add the following advice for younger agents, “when planning programs, plan with people and start local – use demographics. To help determine if an idea is a worthy effort, try to always vet planning through other ACES professionals, clientele, and key stakeholders.”
Windham is a firm believer that programming impact statements need to be a key component of science-based programing efforts. It’s not enough to plan and implement – results need to be evaluated and reported as well. This is a principle he used often, “I asked our County Offices to try and operate like there was another Extension Office people could choose right across the road from their office. Which office would people use to improve their quality of life and economic well-being? Would they choose your office if a choice was provided?”
Like many seasoned Extension professionals, Windham says that the adoption of the cell phone was a significant improvement to the means of conducting business. He notes, “we could call, text, and/or email other professionals and clientele. Our service level and the speed in which we could deliver service to our state and nation increased significantly.”
Windham is enjoying retirement with his wife, Carol. She is a piano teacher/ instructor at Enterprise State Junior College and plays for First Baptist Church Enterprise. Windham stays busy working his small cattle herd and managing his longleaf pine trees for pine straw. He is using time in retirement to work on fitness, read more, serve on local boards and give more time to his Church. He and Carol enjoy traveling and he says, of course, he still enjoys hunting and fishing.
Windham’s family is centered in Enterprise. His oldest son, Matt is married to Bianca, a Special Education teacher in the Enterprise School system and they have two daughters. Matt is the manager of seven buying points and the seed business for Sessions Peanut Company in Enterprise. Windham’s youngest son, Mark works in aviation at Ft. Rucker and also lives in Enterprise. Last but not least, Windham’s’ mother is 88 years old and “very vibrant” and she lives in Enterprise as well.