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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 50,000 families from all 50 states and more than 60 foreign countries.


During the 40 year history of this great event, we have collaboratively raised over $4.9 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.

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