It seems the closer we get to the U.S. presidential election, the uglier the headlines get. That’s why I get so excited when a positive news story crosses my desk, and I can’t help but shout the good news from the rooftops.
You all know I’m a fan of the great work of several agricultural organizations that work in their communities to make the world a better place.
Here are a few examples of my favorite causes:
- I love the All-American Beef Battalion, and how they say “thank you” to the troops with steaks.
- I’m in awe of Cowboys Who Care, who visit kids in cancer centers and gift them with custom-made cowboy hats.
- I admire the work of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation and how their annual Prime Time Gala raises money to fill our state’s food banks with beef for the food insecure.
In addition to these outstanding organizations, let’s add the Iowa Governor’s Charity Steer Show to the list.
On Aug. 15, the 38th annual Iowa Governor’s Charity Steer Show was held at Iowa State University. Despite the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, the agricultural community showed up with great enthusiasm and raised over $254,000 for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Iowa.
According to a press release from the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, “The show and auction are an annual fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald Houses 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.
“Since its inception in 1983, the Governor’s Charity Steer Show has raised over $4.1 million for the Ronald McDonald Houses of Iowa. This year’s event included 23 steers, the Iowa youth who raised them and celebrity show persons. Governor Kim Reynolds was expected to participate, but storm relief efforts after the Derecho storm event kept her from the show. First Gentleman Kevin Reynolds showed in her place, taking home Grand Champion honors with the steer raised by Tyson Von Glan of Vail. Reynolds’s steer was chosen by judge Chad Holtkamp of West Point, Iowa.
“Dan Thomson, chair of the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University, served as the showmanship judge. Thomson chose celebrity Mike McDonough of Oelwein, who showed a steer raised by Ethan Thimmes from Mechanicsville. McDonough’s family utilized the services of three different Ronald McDonald House Charities this spring when Mike faced an extreme health challenge related to his epilepsy.”
Voters selected the steer raised by Rylie Timm and shown by Tate Schafer. Boone Myers was chosen by voters on Facebook as People’s Choice.
Per the release, “Tate has a rare brain tumor, but celebrated his 13th birthday and 20 months post-diagnosis earlier in August.
“Emcees for the event included Bob Quinn and Andy Peterson of WHO/WMT Radio and Michelle Rook of WNAX Radio. The auctioneers were Phil Schooley of Bloomfield, Russele Sleep of Bedford, and Jared Miller of Leon. Catching bids in the ring were Tom Rooney of The Midwest Marketer; Mike Sorensen and Austin Brandt of Livestock Plus; and Jason Lekin from Tama Livestock Auction.”
If you would like to support this effort, donations are still being accepted. You can donate here.
The agricultural community truly shines in moments like this, and I’m proud of these cattlemen and women for hosting this incredible event each year. For complete show and auction results, click here.
My prayers are with the farmers and ranchers who were impacted by the Derecho storm last week. I’m sure photos and media reports from this weather event don’t reveal the true devastating damage that these Iowans are dealing with, and I have been pleased to see many fundraising efforts taking place, as well as the Trump Administration declaring emergency status for the state and sending relief and assistance that way.
This year has been incredibly tough, but I know our farmers and ranchers are even tougher. If you’re in a challenging spot right now, stay strong and ask for help if you need support. We are all in this together.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.