A Person of Passion.

Recently I met up with a very cool family who lives outside of Farmington. I guess I was attracted to their story because they are transplants to the area, too. I’m always fascinated by people who move to the area and their motivations. Like me, they moved here to raise their kids in peace and enjoy beautiful rivers and parks, like Pickle Springs.

This scenic natural area contains all sorts of fascinating sandstone rock formations including box canyons and wet weather waterfalls. The sandstone rock here is the Lamotte sandstone that was formed from sandy beaches of a shallow ocean that existed here 500 million years ago. Since then layers of limestone were buried upon this sandstone but millions of years of erosion and uplift of the Ozark plateau have exposed the sandstone we see today.

Over the eons, ice, rain, wind, plant roots, and streams have worn away this sandstone to form the many unique geologic features here. Some of the interesting geologic features include a double arch that holds up a shelf of sandstone, narrow slot-like canyons, hoodoos (mound or pillar-like sandstone blocks weathered into unusual shapes), a spring flowing out of sandstone (Pickle Springs), and sandstone talus slopes.

You really can’t beat the blue skies, the wildlife, and the friendly people. Yup, we really have it made in the 573.

Meet Joshua Barrett

Husband, father of three, and sportsman, Joshua is a former Marine Combat Engineer with several combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. As a combat engineer, he was wounded several times. He still bears the scars, though he sees them as badges of honor for protecting freedom. In addition, Josh has extensive experience in cyber-security, management, and public policy that makes him highly qualified to be a state senator.

Yes, he is running for a Missouri State Senate seat. Again, I am always amazed by the talent of the local population. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention! He works for the Mineral Area College police department and serves on the board of directors for his family’s software company, United Technology Solutions. Wow, when does this guy sleep?

573: Tell us about you and your family.

After I retired from the Marines, my wife Lauren and I settled on the family farm in St. Francois County. We are the proud parents of three boys: Tristan, Gavin, and Brayden. They love playing hockey, soccer, and spending time outdoors. We also have three rescue dogs that are a big part of the family—a German Shepherd named Maddie, a Black Lab named Fitzgerald, and our newest German Shepard Bruno. We are proud Christians and enjoy being active in our community through service organizations. I’ve been the Chairman of the St. Francois County Republican Central Committee, and I am a Co-Founder of the St. Francois County Conservative Club. I'm also a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and a former Junior Vice Chairman of the Farmington Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter.

We love this area and our community, and we knew we wanted to settle down here once I retired from the Marine Corps. Our boys love to be outdoors—that is something we enjoy as the whole family—and there are so many state and national parks around to explore. We enjoy the rural way of life where people look after one another and take care of their neighbors. There is a real sense of community here that you don't find in urban areas.

573: Tell us why you are running for state senate.

Simply put, I'm running to be a voice for 'we the people'—the working men and women of our state and community who often feel they don't have a voice at the table.

We need to secure the American Dream for the next generation.

For far too long, wealthy, out-of-touch career politicians have led our state and middle-class Missourians like my family are the last thing on their minds. I want my boys to be able to grow up and get a family-supporting job here in rural Missouri, but currently, that is becoming more and more difficult to achieve. We need to secure the American Dream for the next generation.

573: What would you like to see changed?