Amanda Bradley of Conway, Missouri is a English teacher at Conway High School. Contributed Photo.
Contributed Photo

Hometown: Conway, Mo.

Family: Shane Bradley; and sons Nolan and Wren Bradley 

In Town: “I’m heading into my third year teaching English at Conway High School. For the past nine, years I’ve been involved in education in some way, whether through homeschooling my own children, working at their preschools, subbing in Marshfield public schools, or in the case of the last two years, teaching high school English at Conway.”

In the Country: “We bought 30 acres in 2020 to build our house on the Dallas County side of Conway. It’s mostly wooded with a little pasture. We wanted goats to help clean up the place, so we first bought some little Nigerians. Later, I decided I wanted to milk goats for the health benefits of their milk, so we bought a few Saanen goats which is a far better breed for milking than Nigerians. One thing led to another that first summer, and we ended up with around 15 goats at one time. Being as I stay so busy during the school year, I mostly milk goats by hand during the summer. We sell some of the milk, and I also love to make cheese and goat milk soap. We’ve been selling off the extra goats toward the end of summer once I’m done milking for the season. I just like to keep the goats happy with their babies while I’m milking them, so it’s a win-win for everybody involved. 

“We also have around 30 to 40 chickens and ducks. They’re all free range, free to roam our 30 acres. My kids also enjoy hatching chicks, so during the spring we hatch and sell a few chicks to friends, family, or to people through Facebook and Craigslist if we hatch too many. I keep a small backyard garden, but we also like to utilize the woods for foraging. We have a lot of wild blackberry and raspberry bushes, wild mushrooms and wild medicinal plants like mullein leaf. One of my hobbies during the summer is harvesting and preserving those things by dehydrating and canning.”

Future Plans: “My unrealistic goal is to one day produce 100 percent of our own food, and my realistic goal is to produce 50 percent. I would like to purchase some more land nearby to start an organic strawberry and blueberry farm, run more milk goats, and have a larger organic, free-range egg operation. These are full-time dreams, but it might have to wait until my children are a little older.”

Why Farm Life is Enjoyable: “I feel like there has to be duality in your work—something that feeds your mind and something for your spirit. Teaching is mostly a profession of the mind, while working with animals and plants is for the spirit. Staying connected to nature helps me to decompress from stressful days and to find a balance.”


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