Cape Girardeau County welcomes new conservation agent

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – There's a new face of conservation in Cape Girardeau County. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports Ben Stratton is the new conservation agent for the county.

"Ben is a natural fit since he's from the county and knows it well," said Russell Duckworth, MDC Protection District Supervisor. "He's got a great reputation throughout our region and we continue to expect great things out of him."

Stratton graduated from the Conservation Agent Training Academy in Jefferson City in 2009 before working as the Mississippi County conservation agent for six years. He is a Cape Girardeau native and an alumnus of both Cape Central High School and Southeast Missouri State University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in biology with an emphasis in wildlife management. His minor was criminal justice.

For Stratton, the complexities of being a conservation agent are a positive aspect of the job.

"I like not knowing what I'll be doing from one day to the next," he said. "The job transitions with the seasons, so one day I'll be working with dove hunters, another day we may do swift-water rescue or teach hunter education."

He also said the law enforcement role of a conservation agent is rewarding.

"I enjoy making a solid case against a perpetrator that's stealing the wildlife resources from other Missouri citizens," he said. "It's my portion of protecting our resources for future generations."

Stratton said being a conservation agent has given him exciting new opportunities that he never expected, including teaching people about conservation and sharing his love of the outdoors.

Stratton can be reached at (573) 450-1763 or

For more information about conservation agents in Missouri, go online to