Meet Arizona Agriculture’s William Stambaugh

Meet Arizona Agriculture’s William Stambaugh

In November, William Stambaugh will be honored with the Heritage Award posthumously at Arizona Farm Bureau’s Annual Meeting during an awards ceremony. The Stambaugh family has a long rich history in Arizona and continues to make an impact on agriculture here in the west.

Arizona Farm Bureau’s ongoing series of farm and ranch families.

An overview of Bill Stambaugh’s life by Gloria Stambaugh and family.

Their Farm Family Story

Although William “Bill Stambaugh is no longer with us, due to his recent passing on August 21, 2018, Pinal County Farm Bureau took great joy in being able to honor him. He was someone that cared deeply about the agricultural community and it showed in the actions he took throughout his life.

Bill was born in November 1937. He graduated from Prescott High School in 1955, where he was an active FFA member. He attended ASU and graduated with a degree in Agronomy and Animal Husbandry. It was at ASU where he met the love of his life, Gloria Stambaugh.

Bill’s farming career began in the Tempe area, on McClintock Road between Broadway and Southern, with the help from a few of his ASU Agriculture professors. It was here that a Farm Bureau agent named Ray Benbow signed Bill and Gloria up as Farm Bureau members. Mr. Benbow was their agent until his retirement.

His professors encouraged him to pursue his masters at Stanford to come back and help run some of the demonstrations farms. After discussing it with Gloria he jokingly said, “Why would I risk losing money running a farm for someone else when I can do that running my own farm.”

In 1964, Bill had the opportunity to farm a section of land and run cattle on thirteen sections of State and BLM land in the Winkelman area. Bill and Gloria worked hard to make a living off the land and raise five children. While raising their children, the Stambaugh family became very involved in 4-H. The Stambaughs started the Dudleyville Duds 4-H Club, and Bill was the proud leader.

 

Bill valued education and wanted to assist 4-H members in going to college, so he and friend, Phil Hanson, started a Pinal County 4-H Scholarship Fund. In the beginning, only one or two scholarships were awarded annually. Through Bill’s tireless dedication, this fund is now a $100,000+ Educational Endowment Fund that awards upwards of $5,000 in educational scholarships to Pinal County 4-H youth members annually.

In over 50 years Bill never missed a Pinal County Fair Junior Livestock Auction. You could always find him at the top of the bleachers on auction day and he didn’t leave until the last animal sold. Supporting 4-H and FFA members was his passion.

Bill retired from farming in 2009 but maintained a small herd of cattle at his ranch in Winkelman and remained active in his agricultural community. Throughout his life, Bill made numerous friends through Farm Bureau. He was proud to be a Farm Bureau member and loved to attend the meetings and annual membership dinners.

Bill cherished his farming life and anything connected with it. 

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