Posted: July 30, 2009
The 2009 Ohio State Fair Butter Sculpture showcases “the people behind the product,” Ohio’s dairy farmers. To see the buttery art for yourself, visit the Ohio State Fair, July 29-Aug. 9.
“While many things about modern agriculture have changed with the times, dairy farmers’ commitment to caring for their animals remains a top priority,” said Scott E. Higgins, CEO for the American Dairy Association Mideast. “This year’s display serves as a reminder that Ohio’s dairy farmers go above and beyond to make sure their herds are safe, well-fed and given the best care.”
Ohio’s 3,300 dairy farmers work around the clock to take excellent care of their cows by providing them with a nutritious diet, regular veterinary care and clean, healthy living conditions to ensure their cows produce high quality milk for you to enjoy. The American Dairy Association salutes Ohio’s dairy farm families for their hard work, dedication and commitment.
The 2009 butter display depicts a typical Ohio dairy farmer and his veterinarian giving a routine check-up to one of his cows. Nearby, a baby calf is bottle fed by the dairy farmer’s young daughter with the help of her grandfather. The cow is modeled after an ideal Holstein dairy cow.
The Dairy Products Building exhibit was sculpted by a group of three Cincinnati-based free-lance technical sculptors engaged primarily in the toy industry. Crafted from approximately 1,800 pounds of unsalted butter donated in part by Dairy Farmers of America, the display was completed in 350 hours, in which approximately 200 of those hours were spent actually sculpting the butter.
The sculptors began by building wooden and steel frames to support the weight of the butter.
From 55-pound blocks, the butter is sliced into manageable loaves and is layered to cover the frames. After many hours of molding and smoothing the butter in a 45-degree cooler, each figure begins to take shape. Intricate details, like eyes and hair, are then defined to give each figure its unique likeness.
Following the fair, the butter from the display will be turned into biodiesel, an eco-friendly alternative fuel that is cleaner and less expensive than fossil fuel diesel. Mount Vernon Nazarene University (MVNU) will convert the butter into fuel by using a chemical process that they currently use to recycle vegetable oil from their catering service into biodiesel, which is then used to power their maintenance equipment. MVNU’s biodiesel is currently powering a bus, a dump truck, all lawn/snow removal equipment, and diesel generators for their campus.
The butter sculpture display and the Dairy Products Building are sponsored by the American Dairy Association Mideast, Ohio’s dairy-farmer funded marketing and promotion program.