Hometown: Lebanon, Mo.

Family: Wife Laura Gail; daughters, Josie (9), Paula (7), Emmylou (1); and son, Sam (6)

In Town: Joseph Stratton has been a Conway High School agriculture edition teacher and FFA advisor for the past seven years. Prior to his tenure at Conway, Mo., he taught agriculture at Stoutland High School in Stoutland, Mo., for two years.

“I am so proud of the drive and ambition I have seen in these students over the past few years. We took 26 students to the state FFA competition this year which is the most we’ve done in the years I’ve been at Conway,” Joseph said. “All FFA students have an SAE (Supervised Agriculture Experience) project and in recent years, the Conway students have become more engaged with those. They’ve gotten involved in everything from the more traditional projects like raising and showing livestock, dairy, horses and poultry to newer areas like building ag mechanics to competition in career development events. For instance, we have students keeping bees and selling honey and another involved in lawn care, which is one more way to use agriculture skills in the world we live in today. Other students have worked on a project to restore a Farmall tractor which we have here at the county fair this year. We are selling raffle tickets for it and the winner will be drawn at the Conway Tractor Pull to be held in Conway on Oct. 12.”

Joseph noted that students have to spend so much of their time sitting in the classroom that it is good for them and their teacher too, to be able to get up and do something more physical that is still a part of the hands-on learning process.”

In the Country: Joseph and his family work in cooperation with his parents, Steve and Glenda Stratton, raising commercial cattle on a combined acreage of close to 800 acres.

“We have about 200 head of black Angus/Hereford cross cattle, as well as 20 horses. We raise Belgian draft horses, Quarter horses and draft cross. We work our cattle off horseback in the spring and the fall and get a group of friends, relatives, even some of my students to all come and help. It’s a great time, like an old-fashioned round up, with a cook-out, branding of the cattle, and a campfire, with a lot of good camaraderie. We raise six colts a year and we work our horses year round, bringing in firewood and for field work like raking hay.”


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