Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Department of Animal Science partnered with the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and Iowa Beef Industry Council to host the annual Governor’s Charity Steer Show at the university’s Jeff and Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center on Aug. 15. In recognition of the work of this year’s youth exhibitors, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences offered a $500 scholarship to each of the 23 exhibitors.
“We were honored to partner with Iowa’s beef industry organizations to help host this time-honored event and support the good work of the Ronald McDonald Charities of Iowa,” said Daniel J. Robison, endowed dean’s chair in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “We also understand that 2020 has been an incredibly difficult year for the youth exhibitors, and we are excited to honor their determination and grit with a scholarship to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.”
During the show, Robison teamed up with the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and Carson Suchan, a Webster County 4-H member, to show his steer, “The Real Deal.” Dr. Dan Thomson, professor and chair of Iowa State’s Department of Animal Science, served as the show’s showmanship judge, and the Department of Animal Science Beef Teaching Farm continued their annual support of the show by purchasing all 23 steers. The steers will be included in the curriculum for animal science classes and student organizations like the Livestock Judging Team and the Block and Bridle Club.
“Being selected to judge showmanship was a humbling honor because of three things: representing Iowa cattlemen, representing Iowa State University and serving the mission of the Ronald McDonald Charities of Iowa. Meeting the families, children and others that Ronald McDonald Houses help encouraged me to do more for the organization and gave me such pride in how Iowa cattlemen serve others,” Dr. Thomson said.
The show and auction typically take place during the Iowa State Fair, which was canceled earlier this summer in response to COVID-19. Sponsorships and proceeds from the steer auction topped more than $255,000 for Iowa Ronald McDonald Houses in Des Moines, Iowa City and Sioux City. During its 38-year history, the Governor’s Charity Steer Show has raised more than $4.1 million for Ronald McDonald Charities of Iowa.
“Hosting this event at Iowa State University was the best possible scenario in an unprecedented year,” said Matt Deppe, executive director of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. “The facilities, staff, and support of everyone in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Department of Animal Science helped make this another outstanding year for our exhibitors and the Ronald McDonald Charities of Iowa.”