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Iowa Governor's Charity Steer Show


Founded in 1983, then Governor Terry Branstad joined forces with the Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Iowa Cattlemen's Association and organized the Iowa Governor's Charity Steer Show (GCSS). The Iowa Cattle Industry continues to step up on a yearly basis and show why this event is one of a kind. The event highlights the cattle industry of Iowa, our youth that are raising and showing these steers, and the "Iowa Nice" mentality that we are going to do what we can to help people in a time of crisis. 

At the Governor's request, the designated charity for the first-time event was the  Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Iowa. The Ronald McDonald Houses of Iowa provide a “home away from home” for families of seriously ill and hospitalized children. There are three independent Ronald McDonald House Charity Chapters in Iowa, located in Des Moines, Iowa City and Siouxland. Together these three houses have served the needs of over 55,000 families from all 50 states and more than 60 foreign countries.


During the 41 year history of this great event, we have collaboratively raised over $5.1 million dollars, where proceeds are donated to the Ronald McDonald Houses of Iowa. This yearly event during the first Saturday of the Iowa State Fair has become a mainstay of the fair and one of the most recognizable charity events in the United States.

Together, 25 sponsors from across the state of Iowa select an exhibitor and a celebrity to represent their steer during the show. These participants help sponsors raise money, collect non-perishable items and raise awareness about this event on social media. The sponsors, exhibitors and celebrities compete during the show for Overall Champion Steer, People's Choice, Showmanship, and Community Hero Awards.

Once the show is completed we head to the auction block where the excitement really begins. Through the auction of the steers, we raise money from the generosity of steer buyers, representatives of each steer and countless donors from across the state.

Community Hero Award

The Governor's Charity Steer Show Community Hero Award began in 2021. One steer owner is recognized for his or her support of the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Iowa. Exhibitors earn points by completed one or more of the tasks listed below.

Wishlists for each RMHC of Iowa is listed at the bottom of this page.

Non-perishable items

Collecting and/or donating one or more of the following items: disposable cups, individually wrapped snacks, paper plates, plastic forks and spoons, and sandwich bags.

Exhibitors will earn 200 points for the first 10 items. Boxes of individually wrapped snacks will be counted as one item. Every 10 items donated after will result in an additional 10 points. Please drop items off at your local Ronald McDonald House Charity by August 6 and mark down the number of items donated at the front desk.

Pop Tabs

Help the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Iowa offset expenses such as utility bills, by donating aluminum pop tabs.

Exhibitors will earn: 5 points for 0 to 2 pounds; 10 points for 3 to 5 pounds; and 15 points for 6 to 10 pounds. Approximately 1,128 pop tabs equal one pound. Please drop off and/or send pop tabs to the Iowa Cattlemen's Association at 2055 Ironwood Ct., Ames, IA 50014. Pop tabs must be postmarked by August 5.

Social Media

Exhibitor's profiles will be posted to the Iowa Governor's Charity Steer Show Facebook page. Participants will receive 1 point per like and 2 points per share. Points will be tallied at 8 a.m. on Monday, August 5.

More information about RMHC of Iowa

RMHC Wishlists

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