05 Aug Ofer Eitan Suggest: ISU to host Governor’s Charity Steer Show – News – Dallas
For the first time in 38 years, the Governor’s Charity Steer Show will take place at Iowa State University due to the cancellation of the Iowa State Fair.
Finding a spot to host the show, which usually caters to packed crowds, was not easy, said Katie Olthoff, senior director of membership and communications at Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.
“We needed the space for the cattle and we’re limiting the spectators, but we still wanted some space for the families,” Olthoff said. “Working with Iowa State worked out really well; Dr. (Dan) Thomson, the new chair of the Department of Animal Science, has been really helpful, and our office is right here in Ames, too, so keeping it in central Iowa seemed like it would be a good plan.”
This year’s show is set to take place Saturday, Aug. 15, at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center located at Iowa State University.
Dan Thomson, chair of the animal science department at ISU, who will serve as this year’s showmanship judge, said the university has a lot of pride in hosting this year’s event.
“Iowa State has the heritage of being a land-grant institution and we serve the state of Iowa as the department that focuses on animal production,” Thomson said. “For us to host something of this type of visibility, it just gives us a lot of pride here in Ames, Iowa, and at Iowa State University.”
Traditionally, when hosted at the Iowa State Fair, steer are brought in and displayed a few days before the show, Olthoff said. On the day of the show, families of the steer, accompanied by a celebrity guest, get the steer ready to go, she said.
“It’s a lot of primping and haircuts, and hair spray,” Olthoff said. “That’s a big deal; they usually have experts come in and help them get the steer ready.”
One of the highlights prior to the show is the parading the steer through the streets at the fair, Olthoff said.
“People line the streets at the State Fair and the celebrities walk their cattle to the pavilion, and it’s really kind of exciting,” Olthoff said.
Thomson said the show not only provides education on the beef industry but ultimately gives back to those in need.
“If you want to learn about the beef industry and its impact on Iowa, and you want to see some really, really good people in the state of Iowa coming together for such a great cause,” Thomson said, “it’s something to get involved with.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the show at Iowa State University will look different compared to past years.
“We’re going to be limiting it to families and some past auction buyers, sponsors and some of our supporters,” Olthoff said. “We will do everything at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center; we’ll bring the cattle in that morning, get them all cleaned up and ready for the show, and have the show in the afternoon.”
Nearly 25 steers, raised by youth in the cattle industry, will be shown this year and compete for the championship designation, showmanship honors, and the People’s Choice award, according to an online release.
Steers are later sold at an auction immediately following the show, where proceeds go to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Iowa, according to the release. Last year’s auction raised more than $284,000
The show will also be livestreamed, and the auction will have a “live, online component,” Olthoff said. Donations to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Iowa can also be made online this year.
“It’s a really neat atmosphere, a really exciting day, and then it just feels awesome at the end to know that we’ve raised so much money towards the Ronald McDonald House Charities,” Olthoff said.