Hoyt Downing, raised in Madras, is the new ag station farm foreman.Hoyt Downing has been hired as the farm foreman for the Central Oregon Agricultural Research Center in Madras.

Downing, 30, grew up in Madras and graduated from Madras High School in 2001. After high school, he served in the U.S. Air Force for three years, and earned a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Science from Oregon State University.

His parents, Mike and Cathy Downing, own Downing Construction in Madras. Five years ago, he and his dad began farming 75 acres north of town. Downing continues to help out on his parents’ farm, in addition to his new job. His own family includes wife Allison (Sites), and daughters Shaelynn, 13, and BrookLynn, 3 months.

At the research center, the farm foreman works year-round. Currently, Downing is laying irrigation pipe out and changing water until the regular irrigator takes over next week.

Other duties include doing some field preparation work and maintaining the grounds around the research center.

The center has a total of 70 acres, part of which is used for experimental trials. The rest of the acreage is wheat production fields for the center, and grass seed fields, which COARC grows for seed for other companies.

Downing’s time is split between Madras and Powell Butte. “I’m helping the Powell Butte Station with planning of the station operation. There is no staff there now,” he said.

During the winter months, his time will be spent doing maintenance on farm equipment.