DES MOINES — Sixteen years ago, Brynn Nickle was a newborn with pneumonia. Today, she is a high school student from Clearfield who has been showing cattle for 7 years.

Brynn was transferred from the Creston hospital, where she was born, directly to Blank Children’s Hospital. She spent a week in the NICU recovering, and during that time, her parents stayed at the Ronald McDonald House of Des Moines. “It was a very comforting place to be during a scary time,” for her parents, Nathan and Stasia Nickle.

Brynn is one of 25 young Iowans who will show a steer in the annual Governor’s Charity Steer Show at the Iowa State Fair. The 2019 event will mark the 37th consecutive year the beef industry has raised funds to help families who utilize the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Iowa.

The show ring competition takes place Saturday, Aug. 10, at 4 p.m., in the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion at the Iowa State Fair. Celebrities will accompany the young steer owners, leading cattle around the ring while vying for the championship designation, showmanship honors, and the People’s Choice award.

Immediately following the competition, the steers will be sold at auction with proceeds going to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Iowa. Both the show ring event and the auction are open to the general public.

Since the Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association began the Governor’s Charity Steer Show in 1983, the effort has raised more than $3.5 million for the Des Moines, Iowa City and Sioux City Ronald McDonald House Charities. The houses provide a “home away from home” for families of seriously ill children being treated in area hospitals and have served nearly 47,000 families.

Each of the 25 steers are owned by Iowa youth who have cared for the animals and participated in other shows with them. The youth prepare the animals for the show and assist a celebrity in the show ring. Sponsors reimburse the youth for the cost of the animal and choose the celebrity.

Youth participating in the 2019 Governor’s Charity Steer Show will also learn additional information about the beef industry on Thursday, and volunteer some time with the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Des Moines on Friday, Aug. 9.

Can’t make it to the show? Watch for coverage of the event from our media partners. WHO’s The Big Show will once again broadcast live before and after the competition. Ag News Daily and Iowa AgNet (Iowa Agribusiness Radio) will be covering the event as well, broadcasting live on the GCSS facebook page:

A new website has been created to raise the awareness and impact of the Governor’s Charity Steer Show. Iowans interested in helping with the cause can donate online at and support the efforts of the beef industry.


Participants in this 37th-anniversary event include Governor Kim Reynolds, who will host the show. Bryan Thill, Pleasantville, will serve as the official steer show judge for this year’s event and Bubba Chapman of Tipton has been selected to serve as the event’s Showmanship Judge.

Emcees for the event include Bob Quinn and Andy Peterson of WHO/WMT Radio and Michelle Rook of WNAX Radio. The auctioneers are Phil Schooley of Bloomfield, Will Epperly of Dunlap, Russele Sleep of Bedford, and Jared Miller of Leon. Catching bids in the ring are Tom Rooney of The Midwest Marketer; Mike Sorensen and Austin Brandt of Livestock Plus; and Jason Lekin from Tama Livestock Auction.

Steer # 1

Sponsor: Iowa Beef Industry Council & Iowa Cattlemen's Association

Celebrity & Title: Governor Kim Reynolds

Steer Name: Wilson

Steer Owner: Katie Van Den Top< Hull

Steer # 2

Sponsor: Crawford County Cattlemen & Nor-AM Cold Storage

Celebrity & Title: Lt. Governor Adam Gregg

Steer Name: Richard

Steer Owner: Makia Smith, Charter Oak

Steer # 3

Sponsor: Davis County Beef Promoters

Celebrity & Title: Rachelle Heller, Wife of University of Iowa Head Baseball Coach, Rick Heller

Steer Name: Roto

Steer Owner: Tayden Bish, Bloomfield


Steer # 4

Sponsor: Southern Iowa Merchants Association

Celebrity & Title: Matt Gunn, Owner of Wood Iron Grille, 2019 Best Burger Winner

Steer Name: Buck

Steer Owner: Kinley Lobberecht, Oskaloosa

Steer # 5

Sponsor: Central Iowa County Farm Bureaus

Celebrity & Title: Craig Hill, Iowa Farm Bureau President

Steer Name: Real Deal

Steer Owner: Paisley Lautner, Jefferson

Steer # 6

Sponsor: Des Moines Area Community College

Celebrity & Title: Rob Denson, President, DMACC

Steer Name: DMACC Delivers

Steer Owner: Bronson Forsyth, Charles City

Steer # 7

Sponsor: Dee Zee, Inc. (The Quality Truck Accessory People)

Celebrity & Title: Dan Robison, Iowa State University Dean of Ag and Life Sciences

Steer Name: Trump

Steer Owner: Quin McCollum, Colo

Steer # 8

Sponsor: Iowa Bankers Association

Celebrity & Title: Mike Pearson, Co-host of Ag News Daily Podcast and VP of Market Engagement, Zaner Group

Steer Name: Richard

Steer Owner: Kerrigan Mobley, Diagonal

Steer # 9

Sponsor: Volunteer Boards of Iowa Ronald McDonald House Charities

Celebrity & Title: Marcia Morales, RMH Volunteer

Steer Name: Thanks-A-Million

Steer Owner: Eric Plagman, Cumberland

Steer # 10

Sponsor: McDonald’s Restaurants of Iowa

Celebrity & Title: Hunter Lantz, patient and Erin McMahon, Caregiver

Steer Name: Hot Off The Grill

Steer Owner: Tate Boysen, Columbus Junction

Steer # 11

Sponsor: McDonald’s Restaurants of Iowa

Celebrity & Title:

Steer Name: Grand McExtreme

Steer Owner: Jake Balvanz, Alden

Steer # 12

Sponsor: McDonald's Restaurants of Northwest Iowa

Celebrity & Title: Rachael Ostrem, Miss Rodeo Iowa

Steer Name: Mc'D

Steer Owner: Samantha Noteboom, Sheldon

Steer # 13

Sponsor: Friends of Floyd County

Celebrity & Title: Mike Naig, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture

Steer Name: Rocky

Steer Owner: Dillan Dight, Rockford

Steer # 14

Sponsor: Monroe County Cattlemen & Supporters

Celebrity & Title: Justine Stevenson, Seeds of Hope Foundation

Steer Name: Seeds of Hope

Steer Owner: Brianna Wolfer, Albia

Steer # 15

Sponsor: Iowa County Beef Supporters

Celebrity & Title: John Putney, Former Executive Director of the Blue Ribbon Foundation

Steer Name: Hoppy

Steer Owner: George Sinclair, Williamsburg

Steer # 16

Sponsor: Foster and Evelyn Barkema Charitable Trust & Friends of the Franklin County Cattlemen

Celebrity & Title: Alan Brown, Iowa State Fair Board

Steer Name: Cy

Steer Owner: Kaylie Lundt, Rockwell

Steer # 17

Sponsor: Iowa Hereford Breeders Association

Celebrity & Title: Ray Sorensen, Freedom Rock Artist & Dist. 20 State Representative

Steer Name: Ace of Hearts

Steer Owner: Sidney Schafer, Wellsburg

Steer # 18

Sponsor: Benton County Cattlemen and Local Supporters

Celebrity & Title: Randy Edeker, President and CEO, Hy-Vee Inc.

Steer Name: Walter

Steer Owner: MaKenna Burmeister, Rowley

Steer # 19

Sponsor: Iowa Corn Promotion Board

Celebrity & Title: Curt Mether, President of Iowa Corn Growers Assoc.

Steer Name: T-Bone

Steer Owner: Brynn Nickle, Clearfield

Steer # 20

Sponsor: Johnson Co Cattlemen

Celebrity & Title: Mary Ferentz, Wife of University of Iowa Head Football Coach, Kirk Ferentz

Steer Name: Cisco

Steer Owner: Delaney Bulecek, Oxford

Steer # 21

Sponsor: Jackson Co Cattlemen & Friends of Jackson County Cattlemen

Celebrity & Title: Brian Moore, Former District 58 State Representative

Steer Name: Straight Profit

Steer Owner: Riley Miller, Teeds Grove

Steer # 22

Sponsor: Iowa Veterinary Medical Association & ISU College of Veterinary Medicine

Celebrity & Title: Dr. Dan Grooms, Dean of Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Steer Name: Ernie

Steer Owner: Quinton Grove, Ellsworth

Steer # 23

Sponsor: Beck's Hybrids

Celebrity & Title: Megan Salois, WHO Channel 13 Meteorologist

Steer Name: Radar

Steer Owner: Tanner Henningsen, Ames

Steer # 24

Sponsor: District 20 Cattlemen's Associations

Celebrity & Title: Jeff Shipley, District 82 Representative

Steer Name: Osbourne

Steer Owner: Hannah Peck, Birmingham

Steer # 25

Sponsor: Channel Seeds

Celebrity & Title: Kayla Lyon, Director of Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Steer Name: Roy

Steer Owner: Connor Briggs, Chariton