| August 15, 2023

Contact: Iowa Cattlemen's Association, 515-296-2266, Contact Us.

Continuing the upward streak, the Iowa Governor’s Charity Steer Show exceeded the previous year’s fundraising total donated to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Iowa. This year’s event raised $501,000. Including this year’s donations, the Iowa Governor’s Charity Steer Show has raised almost $5.5 million 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. 

This event, hosted by the Office of the Governor of Iowa, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, and Iowa Beef Industry Council, is another example of the care the beef cattle industry has for our state, rural communities, and those in need. The youth exhibitors, their families, sponsors, celebrities, and buyers should be proud of their effort given to this year’s event. Their impact through volunteering, donations, and dedication created yet another successful show and fundraising outcome. 

 Recognizing the Winners 

 The 41st Iowa Governor’s Charity Steer Show was held on August 12 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 both honored with the Community Hero Award for collecting non-perishable donations, pop tabs, and sharing information about the event on social media. Will was sponsored by Eastern Iowa Ronald McDonald House and Quad Cities McDonald’s and showed with celebrity, Rebecca Kopelman, a meteorologist from KGAN. Colbie was sponsored by Iowa Premium and showed with the 2022 Tama County Fair Queen, Kaylynn Murty. 

Our showmanship contest 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. Emma, Secretary Naig, and Junior were sponsored by Benton County Cattlemen and Local Supporters. 

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. Mary Ann, Taylor, and Max were sponsored by Friends of Floyd County. 

Finally, the most prestigious award of the show, the Judge’s Grand Champion, was selected. Brad Pellett from Atlantic, Iowa had the hardest task of working through and judging the stellar lineup of steers and showman. Celebrity Blake Boldon, Franklin P Johnson director of the Drake Relays and senior associate athletic director at Drake University, and his youth partner, Tyson Mohr from Ladora, received the honor. Batman, the winning steer, along with Blake and Tyson were sponsored by Dee Zee, Inc. 

Following the show, a live auction was conducted to raise funds through the sale of 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. 

Thank you to Governor Kim Reynolds for her continued dedication to this event and for her partnership with Iowa beef cattle producers. This event is a rewarding and humbling experience for all that participate. While the financial results are exceptional, the connection our participants, their families, and volunteers experience to the bigger picture of service the Iowa Governor’s Charity Steer Show offers to fellow Iowans and beyond is monumental. 

For a list of sponsors, youth exhibitors, steers, celebrities, donors/buyers, and funds raised by each, please click here.

About Iowa Cattlemen's Association: Iowa Cattlemen’s Association (ICA) represents nearly 8,000 beef cattle-producing families and associated companies dedicated to the future of Iowa’s beef industry. ICA’s mission is “Grow Iowa’s beef cattle business through advocacy, leadership, and education.”   

About Iowa Beef Industry Council:  Iowa Beef Industry Council (IBIC) is funded by the $1-per-head National Beef Checkoff Program and the $0.50-per-head Iowa State Beef Checkoff. Checkoff dollars are invested in beef promotion, consumer information, research, industry information, and foreign market development, all with the purpose of strengthening beef demand. For more information, visit     

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