More than 800 pounds of butter has arrived at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, N.Y., as construction of one of Central New York’s best-kept secrets and most beloved attractions gets underway – the 55th Annual American Dairy Association North East Butter Sculpture, sponsored by Wegmans.
Over the weekend, sculptors Jim Victor and Marie Pelton began to create the annual sculpture, a process that will take approximately 11 days on-site to complete.
“For 55 years, the butter sculpture has been an iconic, can’t-miss attraction that has entertained millions of fairgoers,” says John Chrisman, CEO of the American Dairy Association North East. “This unique tradition pays tribute to our hardworking dairy farm families who work 365 days a year to sustainably and responsibly produce milk.”
The butter used for the sculpture comes from Batavia-based producer O-AT-KA Milk Products and is out of specification for retail sale for a variety of reasons, so American Dairy Association North East works with the sculptors to put it to good use by creating a beautiful piece of art.
Following its 13-day stint at The Fair, the butter will return to Western New York, where it will be recycled into renewable energy at Noblehurst Farms, a dairy farm in Pavilion, N.Y. Noblehurst Farm’s vast recycling program turns over 500 tons of food waste from supermarkets, universities and schools each month into enough energy to power the farm and over 300 local homes. The recycling program not only reduces the farm’s carbon footprint, it diverts all of that food waste from landfills, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Last year’s butter sculpture was “Refuel Her Greatness,” and it celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Title IX.
American Dairy Association North East will unveil the 55th Annual Butter Sculpture to the media on Tuesday, August 22nd, the day before The Fair officially opens.