Lifestyle Livestock News

Charity Steer Auction raised $284,000 for Ronald McDonald


There is nothing quite like the magic of fair season, the love and dedication shines bright in the ring. This year at Iowa’s Governor Charity Steer Auction, the judge, Bill Thill, had personal experience with the Ronald McDonald House. The money raised this year is going to support that charity and helping so many families through a tough time.

According to a press release from Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, “One hundred and twenty-one days ago, I had a kidney transplant. I didn’t know if I was ever going to attend the Iowa State Fair again, and I sure didn’t dream I’d be doing this,” said Brian Thill before choosing the champion steer in this year’s event.

“Our family knows the hidden costs that families go through when you have an ill one. I remember my wife and I having a discussion about [the fact that] it costs $42 to park, and those types of things can add up when you’re in the hospital,” said Thill. “Thank God the Ronald McDonald House is there for those families.”

Thill, of Pleasantville, served as the official judge for the 37th annual Governor’s Charity Steer on Aug. 10. The show and auction raised over $284,000 for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Iowa in Des Moines, Iowa City, and Sioux City. 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 Iowa Cattlemen’s Association sponsor the annual steer show and auction, which was hosted by Governor Kim Reynolds in the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion at the Iowa State Fair.

Since its inception in 1983, the Governor’s Charity Steer Show has raised over $3.8 million for the Ronald McDonald Houses of Iowa. This year’s event included 25 steers, the Iowa youth who raised them and celebrity show persons, including Gov.  Kim Reynolds.

Thill selected “Richard”, the steer raised by Makia Smith and shown by Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg, as this year’s “Judge’s Choice.” Richard was sponsored by the Crawford County Cattlemen’s Association and purchased by a coalition of Sioux County Businesses for $9,000, with an additional $1,000 support from the lieutenant governor and others. The market value of the steer was also donated, bringing the total donation to $11,498.72.

The steer shown by Brian Moore, Former District 58 State Representative, was chosen by the crowd as People’s Choice. “Straight Profit” was raised by Riley Miller, sponsored by the Jackson County Cattlemen, and purchased by Johnson Family Farms.

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