Harrisburg – A sculpture made from nearly 1,000 pounds of butter was unveiled today as the centerpiece of the 95th Pennsylvania Farm Show, which will open Saturday, Jan. 8.
The design depicts a dairy farmer providing milk to children playing on a jungle gym and tossing a ball with a football player.
“The butter sculpture is a fun way to gear up for the Pennsylvania Farm Show while drawing attention to the state’s leading agricultural industry –dairy – that contributes nearly $7 billion to the economy,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding.
Redding added that Pennsylvania is home to 7,300 dairy farms and 541,000 dairy cows. Dairy farmers are also an integral part of local communities and spend nearly 85 percent of their income close to home and recognize the importance of supplying quality products to their neighbors.
Housed in a new octagonal case, the sculpture represents “Fuel Up to Play 60.” It’s a reference to the dairy industry’s partnership with the National Football League, which encourages children to eat a balanced diet including low-fat milk and dairy foods filled with essential vitamins and minerals, and be active for at least 60 minutes each day.
Sculptor Jim Victor of Conshohocken, Montgomery County, began crafting the life-size design in mid-December and finished just in time for the Farm Show. He also creates sculptures using chocolate and cheese.
Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and the Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program, the sculpture was crafted from butter donated by Land O’ Lakes in Carlisle, Pa.
The butter will be converted into biofuel after the Farm Show ends.
“Dairy farmers are proud to contribute to this important issue facing youth in the United States,” said Vernon Horst, a Franklin County dairy farmer and chairman of Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association. “The butter sculpture is a reminder that we work hard to make safe, nutritious and wholesome dairy products for our children to enjoy.”
The unveiling ceremony included a performance by the Philadelphia Eagles pep band, cheerleaders and team mascot, Swoop. Mike Quick, color analyst for Eagles Radio and a former Eagles all-pro wide receiver, participated in the program.
Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program are programs funded by dairy farmers to promote dairy products. For more information, visit www.dairyspot.com.
The 2011 Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 290 commercial exhibitors. The show runs Jan. 8-15 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg. Admission is free and parking is $10. Visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us for details.