The beef cattle industry’s care for Iowa state, rural communities, and those in need is inspiring. Continuing an annual upward streak, the Iowa Governor’s Charity Steer Show on Saturday exceeded the previous year’s fundraising total donated to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Iowa. This year’s event raised $501,000 adding to the almost $5.5 million raised since the event’s inception in 1983.
All money raised benefits the three independent Ronald McDonald House Charities of Iowa, located in Des Moines, Iowa City, and Sioux City. These three houses have served over 55,000 families from all 50 states and 62 foreign countries. Families from all 99 counties in Iowa have benefited from the Ronald McDonald Houses of Iowa.
The event is hosted by the Office of the Governor of Iowa, the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, and the Iowa Beef Industry Council.
Here are the winners
Held in the Livestock Pavilion at the Iowa State Fair, winners in four categories were recognized in the show ring: Community Hero, Grand Champion Showman, People’s Choice, and Judge’s Grand Champion. This year’s event hosted 24 sponsored steers, shown by their youth exhibitor and a local celebrity.
The Community Hero Award recognizes the youth exhibitor that goes above and beyond collecting non-monetary donations and creating awareness for the event. This year two exceptional youth exhibitors were recognized for their efforts. Will Vlasek from Cedar Rapids and Colbie Fevold of Gladbrook were honored with the Community Hero Award for collecting non-perishable donations, pop tabs, and sharing information about the event on social media.
Showmanship was judged by Dr. Dan Loy, who recently retired from the Iowa State Beef Center. He commented that showmanship is a partnership between the steer, the youth exhibitor, and the celebrity. He awarded Emma Wayson of Mount Auburn, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, and Junior the steer with Grand Champion Showman.
A fan favorite, the People’s Choice Award, gives the audience and team supporters a voice in the competition as they help select the winner of this event. Show emcees Bob Quinn with WHO Radio and Duane Murley with KWMT AM 540 worked through the steers and had the crowd on their feet and cheering loud for their favorite. In the end, it was the 2022 Iowa State Fair Queen, Mary Ann Fox, and her youth partner, Taylor Quade from Charles City, along with her steer, Max, that took the award home.
Finally, the show’s most prestigious award, the Judge’s Grand Champion, was selected. Brad Pellett from Atlantic had the most challenging task of working through and judging the stellar lineup of steers and showman. Celebrity Blake Boldon, Franklin P Johnson director of the Drake Relays, senior associate athletic director at Drake University, and his youth partner, Tyson Mohr from Ladora, received the honor.
Following the show, a live auction was conducted to raise funds by selling each steer and some additional value-added items donated by industry supporters and celebrities. These funds were added to the donations received by each youth participant, resulting in the $501,000 donation going to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Iowa.
»Related: Lessons learned while showing livestock