Our Mission

Through our commitment to established Values and Excellence, we will continue to set the highest standards in the industry for Safety, Service, Quality, Professionalism and Innovation. We strive to be highly Devoted to our Work Force and Local Communities.


Prairie Contractors can draw its past from two paths. Laddie L. James founded Prairie in 1961 as a small concrete contractor in Opelousas, Louisiana.

He expanded his footprint to the westered corridor of the state by establishing a footprint in Fort Polk (Leesville, Louisiana) during the Vietnam build-up.


Laddie operated his first Hot-Mix Asphalt (HMA) plant in Maringouin, Louisiana in the early 1970’s and then a second one in Longville, Louisiana in 1973. In the late 1970’s, he started Central Manufacturing to design and build his own drum mix plants. In all, he built 11 with several being sold out-of-state and to south America.

The company grew through the 1980’s and 1990’s with the addition of two plants, strategically located on rail and waterway material destinations.  Mr. James brought two engineers on staff in the mid-1990’s and further expanded his operations and HMA manufacturing capabilities.  He was the first to design and construct a full-scale AMRL certified HMA laboratory and manufacture and construct a large Superpave project within the State of Louisiana.

In 2002, Laddie sold the business to Woody Harvey III, Richard LeBlanc and James M. Winford, Jr..  Since then the company has further expanded to cover additional markets with rail/water distribution points throughout southcentral and southwestern Louisiana.

A second path of our origins began with L.M. Winford who began in the sand and gravel business in north Louisiana in 1935.  Following aggregate production, George Winford purchased his first asphalt plant. 

Currently, Prairie operates five stationary HMA production facilities along with 5 AMRL Certified HMA Quality Control Laboratories and three aggregate distribution locations.


James M. (Jay) Winford, Jr., Ph.D., P.E. President

Tulane University (BSCE, MS, MBA)
Auburn University (PhD)
Years in Industry: 41 years
With Prairie Since 1995

Woodson (Woody) Harvey III, P.E. Vice-President

Louisiana State University (BSCE)
Years in Industry: 35 Years
With Prairie Since 1994

R. Keith Leblanc, CPA CFO

University of Louisiana at Lafayette (BS)
Years in Industry: 10 Years
With Prairie Since 2010

Jeremy Manafi, CPA Assistant CFO

University of Louisiana at Lafayette (BS)
Years in Industry: 6 Years
With Prairie Since 2014

Richard Leblanc Secretary Treasurer

St. Landry Parish Community College
Years in Industry: 42 Years
With Prairie Since 1978

Damien P. Doucet, P.E. Engineer

University of Louisiana at Lafayette (BSCE)
Years in Industry: 10 Years
With Prairie Since 2010

Darryl Johnson Operations Manager

Over 20 years in the industry

Trent Bollich Prairie Materials Manager

McNeese State University
Years in Industry: 10 Years
With Prairie Since 2010

Troy Bollich Plants Manager

McNeese State University
Years in Industry: 10 Years
With Prairie Since 2010

Russel LeBleu Plant Manager

Lake Charles & Leesville
Over 25 years in the industry

Torrey Lalonde Plant Manager

Over 25 years in the industry

Prairie Timeline

1935 L.M. george winford
1961 L.L. James
1973 Longville, LA
1996 Fort polk
2010 PRAIRIE - Westlake
2019 Lafayette Acquisition
  • 1935

    L.M. (George) Winford begins in the Sand and Gravel Business in Minden, Louisiana

  • 1948

    L.M. Winford Contractor erects its first Hot-Mix Asphalt plant.

  • 1961

    L.L. (Laddie) James begins street work in St. Landry Parish under Prairie Construction Company, Inc.

  • 1966

    Prairie begins work in Fort Polk (Vernon Parish) at the U.S. Army’s Joint Readiness Facility.

  • 1971

    Prairie operates it’s first Hot-Mix Asphalt Plant in Maringouin, Louisiana.

  • 1973

    Prairie established it’s next plant in Longville, Louisiana.

  • 1977

    Prairie (under Central Manufacturing Company) begins to build drum mix asphalt plants in Opelousas, Louisiana. Central built 11 of these 8 and 9 foot diameter plants.

  • 1978

    Prairie installs a new drum plant in Longville, Louisiana.

  • 1980

    Prairie installs a new drum plant in Opelousas, Louisiana.

  • 1986

    Prairie completes construction of the new City of Opelousas Water Treatment Facility.

  • 1995

    Prairie installs a new drum plant in DeRidder, Louisiana (Beauregard parish).

  • 1996

    Prairie completes the “capping” of the “Old” Landfill for the City of New Orleans.

  • 1997

    Prairie designs and constructs the first Superpave HMA mixture in the State of Louisiana on US 190.

  • 1997

    Prairie establishes a plant in Westlake, Louisiana (Lake Charles).

  • 2000

    Prairie completes the first foamed asphalt base in the State of Louisiana.

  • 2003

    L.L. James sells firm to existing management.

  • 2010

    Prairie completes the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) project which includes the major rehabilitation of I.210 in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

  • 2019

    Prairie acquires its New Iberia Hot-Mix Plant and associated assets.

  • 2019

    Prairie acquires its Lafayette Hot-Mix Plant and associated assets.

1948 - L.M. Winford Asphalt Plant
1971 Prairie Construction
1995 Prairie DeRidder
1997 Prairie Westlake
2018 Prairie New Plant in Leesville