Windham Family Field Day

Friday 17 May 2024

Part Five of WCSHC Rumble through Rural America Tour  

By Frank Taylor  

After crisscrossing the state of Mississippi in the first three weeks of April, the WCSHC’s ragtag team members prepared for an hour ride south to Decatur, MS, on Tuesday, April 30, 2024. One of the team members chatted about places and people they met along the “Rumble Through Rural America” tour. We started on the southern edge of Mississippi at Pastor Terry Thomas Farm in Columbia, MS. After conducting their mission, the ragtag team made a U-turn and forged a pathway northward to Marshall County.  

Today, we are in Newton County for an educational field day hosted by the Windham Family. WCSHC staff members connected with the Windhams at Nichols Field Day on April 21, 2023. Ernest and Cynthia shared their enjoyment of participating in the Nichols field day with Frank Taylor. Immediately, Ernest and Frank became friends because their birthdays were in May. Frank called Ernest and wished him a happy birthday on May 5. Also, he asked Ernest to host a field day in 2024. Earnest quickly accepted the task, and we are here today, one year later, for an exciting event. This event is a testament to the Windham Family’s dedication, but it’s also a reflection of our community’s commitment to celebrating our agricultural heritage and future.  

Decatur is fifteen miles south of Philadelphia and eight miles north of Interstate twenty in eastern Mississippi. A historical fact you should know about Decatur is that it is the childhood home of the Evers brothers. Medgar Evers is the first Field Secretary for the Mississippi NAACP’s state chapter, and Charles Evers is the first elected African American mayor of Fayette, Mississippi.  

Allen McReynolds called the field day event to order at 4:30 pm. Lemuel Nichols extended words of prayer. Cynthia Windham delivered a southern welcome of hope and inspiration. Ernest Windham said his dad bought this farm for his family. “We raised vegetables to feed the family and planted cotton as a cash crop. Additionally, we had a herd of Jersey cows for milking.” 

Allen introduced Shani Hay, MSU Extension, Agriculture & Natural Resources, and the 4-H agent from Newton County. Shani emphasized that their office offers a barrage of services to help families. “We can design individual and family meal plans to develop healthy communities. We have 4-H clubs in Newton County. Your children can take part in and learn about the various projects. This would be an informal learning opportunity for students who could participate in numerous projects, including shooting sports.” 

Joe Addy, NRCS, discussed the EQIP program and other conservation practices. Joe said, “CSP offers an annual payment to help farmers and ranchers foster enhancement conservation practices on their agricultural land or forestland.”  

Frank Taylor thanked the Windham Family for their exceptional stewardship of Mother Earth’s natural resources. WCSHC conveyed appreciation to the Harris family for catering the food. This event is a celebration and a platform for learning and growth, offering a wealth of educational opportunities for all attendees. 

View photos from this event.

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