Iowa State Fair Charity Steer Show Marks 30th Anniversary

Iowa State Fair Charity Steer Show Marks 30th Anniversary

Over past 30 years steer show has raised $2 million for Ronald McDonald Houses in Iowa, helping families who have seriously ill children.

The Governor's Charity Steer Show celebrates its 30th anniversary at this year's Iowa State Fair. The steer show will take place Saturday, August 11, 2012. Since it began three decades ago, the show has raised nearly $2 million for the Ronald McDonald Houses in Iowa, which celebrated their 30th anniversary this past year. Ronald McDonald Houses provide a place for families of seriously ill children to stay.

Governor's Charity Steer Show will celebrate 30th year at Iowa State Fair

For three decades the annual Governor's Charity Steer Show at Iowa State Fair has raised nearly $2 million to help families with children being treated for serious diseases and illness.

"The 2012 Governor's Charity Steer Show will mark its 30th year of raising funds to help families who use Ronald McDonald Houses while their children are being treated for serious medical conditions," says Dal Grooms, communications director for the Iowa Cattlemen's Association. It's anticipated that the 2012 show and sale will help this three-decade program break the $2 million mark."

This year, the show ring competition takes place Saturday, August 11 at 4:00 p.m., in the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion at the Iowa State Fair. Iowa celebrities will lead 25 steers around the ring, vying for the championship designation, as well as appealing to the crowd for a showmanship award. Immediately following the competition the steers will be sold at auction with proceeds going to the Ronald McDonald Houses of Iowa. Both the show ring event and the auction are open to the general public.

Since the Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Iowa Cattlemen's Association began the Governor's Charity Steer Show in 1983, the effort has raised more than $1.9 million for the Des Moines, Iowa City and Sioux City Ronald McDonald Houses. These houses provide a "home away from home" for families of seriously-ill children being treated in area hospitals.

Participants of first show in 1983 will return to celebrate this year's event

Many of the key participants of the first show are involved in this 30th anniversary event. Gov. Terry Branstad will again host the show. Steve Radakovich of Earlham, who judged the first Governor's Charity Steer Show, will take his place in the ring as the official steer show judge.  Eric Branstad, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad's son, will be one of the show celebrities; he and his sister Allison were the celebrity show people for the first winning steer.

Two key organizers of the first event, Bruce Berven and Mark Fischer, have been selected to serve as the 2012 event's Showmanship Judges. Berven retired two years ago as ICA's executive director, and Fisher now works at the Iowa Economic Development Authority in the agricultural trade promotions program.

Emcees for the event include Bob Quinn of WHO Radio and Andy Petersen of WMT Radio. The auctioneer is Phil Schooley from Bloomfield Livestock Market and helping him catch bids in the ring are Tom Rooney of The Midwest Marketer, Mike Sorensen and Ross Butler of Livestock Plus and Jason Lekin from Tama Livestock Auction.

Here are steer owners and the celebrity showing their steer in this year's event


Steer Owners

Shown by

Zach Mitchell, Charles City

Gov. Terry Branstad

Brad Staley, Charter Oak

Rachel Burton, Miss Rodeo Iowa 2012

Brandee Petersen, Danbury

Jenna Marie Kool, 2012 Miss Teen Rodeo Iowa

Justin Utt, Bloomfield

Gary McConnell, President, Iowa State Fair Board

Collin Cory, Altoona

Derron Heldt, Director of Racing, Prairie Meadows Race Track & Casino

Hayley Spoelstra, New Sharon

Doug Cooper, WHO Radio

Kylie Van Ryswyk, Baxter

Steven Leath, ISU President

Dalton Birchmier, Maxwell

Rob Denson, DMACC President

Trenton Cheers, Indianola

Jennie Baranczyk, Drake Women's Basketball Coach

Walker McDermott, Atlantic

Mike & Betsy Pearson

Hunter Wilkening, State Center

Aaron & Jamie Burdorf family

Ainsley Lovrien, Clarksville

Justin Roberts, KGAN Ch 2 Weather Anchor

Kylee Zoske, Eldora

Fred Greiner, President of Fareway Stores

Levi Larson, Jefferson

Savanah Farrell, Miss Leon Rodeo 2012

Adam Staudt, Rockford

Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture

Jarrod Kromray, Albia

Billy Huber, Professional PRCA Calf Roper Champion

Brooklynn Moore, Zwingle

Representative Steve Olson

Justin Donohue, Parnell

Larry Zimpleman, The Principal Financial Group

Chance Deppe, Maquoketa

Dan Loy, Director of Iowa Beef Center

Paige Baetsle, Ollie

Eric Branstad

Claire Solsma, Sanborn

Paris Schneph, 2011 Iowa State Fair Queen

Bryton Voss, Dexter

Representative Steve King

Elizabeth Good, Ogden

Jeff Johnson, ISU Alumni Association

Isaiah Noelck, Hampton

Ellie Flickinger, Franklin County Beef Princess

Dalton Smith, Charter Oak

Kevin Ross, President of Iowa Corn Growers Association

Any individual or business interested in participating in this year's event or in future shows, can contact Doug Bear at IBIC, 515-296-2305. Or visit

The young people who raised and groomed the steers which will be shown and sold in this year's fundraiser are also going to spend time working on projects at the Des Moines Ronald McDonald House on Friday, August 10. They will be at the House, located at 1441 Pleasant St. in downtown Des Moines (near Iowa Methodist Medical Center) from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Here's the schedule:

* 9:30 a.m. - Welcome from Brenda Miller, executive director of Ronald McDonald House of Des Moines

* 10 a.m. - Start work on projects under direction of RMH staff

* 11 a.m. - Ronald McDonald makes a guest appearance

* Noon – Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds join the youth for lunch

* 1 p.m.  - Youth will return to state fairgrounds in Des Moines for the steer show

About the Iowa Cattlemen's Association:  The Iowa Cattlemen's Association represents more than 9,500 beef-producing families and associated companies dedicated to the future of Iowa's beef industry. ICA's mission is "Grow Iowa's beef business through advocacy, leadership and education."

About the Iowa Beef Industry Council:  The Iowa Beef Industry Council is funded by the $1-per-head 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.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.