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Grand Champion

2017 Governor's Charity Steer Show Raises over $274,000.

Contact: Doug Bear, Director of Industry Relations, Iowa Beef Industry Council: 515-296-2305,
Casey Allison, Eastern Iowa Membership Coordinator, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association: 515-296-2266,

Records were broken at the 35th annual Governor’s Charity Steer Show, which raised over $274,000 for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Iowa.  This year’s event featured the highest selling auction, including breaking the cumulative $3 million mark. The money raised benefits the Ronald McDonald Houses of Des Moines, Iowa City, and Sioux City.  All of the houses are located near hospitals and provide a “home away from home” for families of seriously ill children.  The Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association sponsor the annual steer show and auction, which was hosted by Governor Kim Reynolds on August 12, 2017 in the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion at the Iowa State Fair.

Since its inception in 1983, the Governor’s Charity Steer Show has raised over $3.2 million for the Ronald McDonald Houses of Iowa.  This year’s event included 25 steers, the Iowa youth that raised them, and celebrity showpersons, including Governor Kim Reynolds, who competed for the title of “Judge’s Choice.”

The official steer show judges for this year’s show included Mark Core and Bailey Boyert from Pleasantville, Iowa. The judges selected the steer “Smokin’ Willie,” shown by Governor Kim Reynolds, for overall grand champion honors. The Iowa Beef Industry Council and Iowa Cattlemen’s Association sponsored the steer and McDonald’s of Iowa City, Coralville, Ames and Des Moines (including JKB Restaurants and J&D Restaurants) purchased the steer for $17,000. There was additional support from Governor Kim Reynolds for $1,000 and Cody Von Glan Friends and Blazin ‘B’ Ranch for $500. The steer was raised by Cody Von Glan of Vail.

The steer raised and shown by 11-year-old Alec Gotto of Dyersville was selected by the crowd for the title of “People’s Choice.”  Alec, who is paralyzed from the neck down, led the steer, “Thanks A Million,” from his wheelchair. Alec’s family has personally used the Ronald McDonald House Charities in the past and was eager to “give back” to a charity that helped them. The steer was sponsored by the Volunteer Boards of Iowa Ronald McDonald House Charities and purchased by Briarwood Healthcare Center – Iowa City for $11,000.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey, earned the Showmanship Award from Cassie Johnson, who served as the event’s Showmanship Judge.  Northey’s steer, “Hershey,” was sponsored by the Friends of Floyd County and Corporate Farmer.  The steer was raised by Jayden Jorgensen of Rudd and purchased by Friends of Floyd County & Corporate Farmer for $14,700 along with additional support from Dunlap Sale Barn for $450.

Emcees for the show were farm broadcaster Bob Quinn, WHO Radio, and Michelle Rook, WNAX Radio. A special guest appearance from Ronald McDonald kept the show lively.  The auctioneers for the auction were Phil Schooley from Bloomfield, Will Epperly from Dunlap, Russele Sleep from Bedford, and Jared Miller from Leon.  Catching bids alongside the auctioneers were Mike Sorensen, Austin Brandt, and Ross Butler of Livestock Plus, Tom Rooney of The Midwest Marketer, and Jason Lekin of Tama Livestock Auction.

Complete listing of Sponsors, Steer Owner, and Buyer

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