The two major party candidates for Governor faced off in a showing at the State Fair this weekend. The 20th Annual Governor’s Charity Steer Show featured 26 entries — each steer was led by an Iowa celebrity or politician. Republican Congressman Greg Ganske won the showmanship award for keeping his steer calm and controlled. Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Gross showed a Polled Hereford steer. He says there’s nothing more beautiful in the world than seeing a polled Hereford in a green field.Polled Herefords are red cattle with a white face, neck, belly and feet. Matt McCabe of Dubuque raised Gross’ steer, which he named Clyde. He’s been showing it all year. But Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack showed the champion steer. It was nicknamed “Bullish on Iowa” although it was a steer, not a bull. Joslyn Ferguson of New Sharon raised the steer, and Vilsack says she gets all the credit. He calls it an opportunity to celebrate the value of hard work among kids and to showcase the cattle industry.Vilsack says the steak doesn’t just show up on your plate — it’s hard work to raise cattle. Vilsack says there’s nothing but good things ahead for Iowa’s cattle industry with a new beefpacking plant to open in Tama. It was a tad hot in the showring, and Vilsack worked up a sweat.Vilsack says he probably lost about 10 pounds in the showring. It’s the second time this summer Vilsack and Gross have gone head-to-head in some sort of competitive event as both ran in the Bix-7 road race in Davenport. Vilsack says “it’s great” that Gross participated in the steer show, as it raises money for charity. Vilsack, though, says “it’ll be winner-take-all in November.” The 26 steers were sold after the show, and the proceeds donated to Ronald McDonald Houses in Des Moines, Iowa City and Sioux City.
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