Hometown: Avilla, Mo.

Family: Wife Chally and children, Savannah (21) Tucker (19)

In Town: Steve Downing began his career with H.E. Williams in Carthage, Mo., at the age of 20, working as a painter, fork truck operator and helping in shipping. Now, after 30 years, Steve continues to work for the company as a strategic pricing specialist. 

“I like the people I work with, and I like to see sizable jobs that I have worked on turn into orders for the company,” he said. 

In the Country:Steve was raised on a small family farm in Avilla, Mo., working cattle and haying. He grew up with three siblings and participated in rodeos and shodeos. About 20 years ago, his dad Charlie Downing bought a 100-acre farm in Pierce City, Mo. Steve farmed with his dad and raised cattle, but in 2016 Steve took over the farm when his dad passed away. He now farms mostly on his own but is glad to have the occasional help from his brother Collier Downing. 

The farm is mostly pasture with fescue and native grasses. He runs 35 cow/calf pairs, which are a cross of Charolais, Limousin and Angus, and currently has two Angus bulls. He has a few Quarter horses and enjoys taking rides with them when time allows. Steve and his dad used to participate in the Caney to Pawhuska ride from Kansas to Oklahoma. This three-day event in June/July has been going on for about 60 years. They were able to ride in the event nearly 13 times over the years. 

Steve cares for his cattle mostly on the weekends as the farm is about 22 miles from his home. During calving season, the farm requires a lot more attention. 

“It’s a struggle to keep everything going between time and money,” he said.

In the near future Steve hopes to be able to clean up more ground to have better grass for the cattle, install new fences, and buy a new tractor. His goal after retirement is to one day work on the farm full-time but until then he continues to keep things going at both ends of the spectrum. 


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