Ohio State’s Inaugural Dean’s Charity Steer Show a Rousing Success


COLUMBUS—The Dean’s Charity Steer Show, a new event held at the Ohio State Fair, surpassed all expectations and raised more than $146,000 (and counting) for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Central Ohio.

Hosted by Cathann A. Kress, vice president for agricultural administration and dean of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), the July 30 charity show included 13 teams of celebrity exhibitors and 4-Hers with their steers. It was held at the Ohio Expo Center and State Fair’s Voinovich Livestock & Trade Center.

If you were unable to attend the show, donations to RMHC will be accepted through August 31 at give.osu.edu/deanscharitysteershow.

“I am so appreciative of the unbelievable support we received in our first year of doing this.” said Kress. “It was wonderful to see us come together to celebrate agriculture and children, both our 4-H youth as well as youth who benefit from the wonderful Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio.”

In addition to RMHC, the big winners were the teams who won the Best Steer Award, the Showmanship Award, and the People’s Choice Award.

Exhibitor Clark Kellogg, former NBA player and CBS Sports lead college basketball analyst and his 4-H teammate, Sydney Sanders from Highland County, took the Best Steer Award with Sanders’ Charolais, Cosmo.

The Showmanship Award went to exhibitor Bob Peterson, public servant and 8th generation farmer from Fayette County and his 4-H teammate, Victoria Waits and her Angus steer, Rabbit, also from Fayette County.

Exhibitor Adam Sharp, Ohio Farm Bureau executive vice president, along with his Miami County 4-Her Sam Sutherly and his crossbred steer, Buttercup won bragging rights with the coveted People’s Choice Award.

“I want to thank our celebrity exhibitors, many of whom had no previous livestock experience, and our 4-H families who donated their time and talents.” Kress said. “The show also could not have happened without the contributions of our volunteers, auctioneers, ringmen, and the involvement and support from Telhio Credit Union, the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, and Ohio State Fair and Expo Commission.”

Celebrity exhibitors, in addition to Kress, Kellogg, Peterson, and Sharp, included Matt Barnes, WCMH-TV Channel 4 anchor; Mark Berven, president and chief operating officer of Nationwide Property & Casualty; Joshua Perry, former Ohio State and NFL football player, stood in for Bobby Carpenter and represented 97.1 FM The Fan, Columbus; Jay Edwards, public servant and small business owner from Athens County; Clay Hall, sports director for Columbus’ WSYX 6/Fox 28 TV; Woody Johnson, host of “Woody and the Wake-Up Call” on WCOL-FM 92.3, Columbus; Rick Malir, chief executive officer and co-founder of City Barbeque; Bob McElligott, sports broadcaster for the Columbus Blue Jackets; and Shelley Meyer, former first lady of Ohio State football and instructor for Ohio State’s College of Nursing.

More than 900 attended the Steer Show event and made donations ranging from 87 cents to $15,000. Individuals and organizations who bid on and “purchased” steers during the “sale” included Heartland Bank; Nationwide; Ohio State Fair; Telhio Credit Union; Mike and Leslie Bumgarner; United Producers, Inc.; Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation; City BBQ; Sparkman Mastek Family Foundation; Wise Show Cattle; Farm Credit Mid-America; Gibbs Farms LLC; Tom Price; Leeds Farm; Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation; and three anonymous bidders. No actual transfer of animals occurred. Instead, all bids and sale proceeds were donated to RMHC.

“Everyone at the Ronald McDonald House would like to express our sincere gratitude for allowing us to be part of such a special day,” said Dee Anders, chief executive officer and executive director of RMHC. “The positive energy and pride in that building could not have been stronger. We feel so blessed to be a part of the magic. The funds raised Tuesday are transformational for the charity. We are forever grateful for your friendship.” 

Mark your calendars now for the second annual 2020 Dean’s Charity Steer Show set for Tuesday, August 4.

See select photos from the 2019 show here and a Flickr photo album here. 


Sherrie R. Whaley