The Pennsylvania Farm Show unveiled its one thousand-pound butter sculpture on Thursday, and this year it looks like a freeze-frame scene at a county fair. Between exhibits for Pennsylvania honey and local apples, a windowed refrigerator holds the hewn mass of churned cream.
The Dairy Princesses flanked the booth as the curtains came up on the life-sized butter boy and his butter calf. Being there for the first view is one of the perks of being crowned Lancaster County's dairy princess.
"Actually, I've been to Farm Show every year for as long as I can remember, and this is my first opportunity to be here live when it's been unveiled, and I just — it's so cool," said 18-year-old princess Deirdra Bollinger.
The dairy at the show does not start and end with butter. "Try the food!" said Bollinger. "Something that's my personal favorite's probably a flip-flop between the milkshakes and the fried cheese cubes."
This is the Farm Show's 22nd life-sized butter sculpture. Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley said that the design is "highly classified stuff" before the unveiling. But there is a serious side to the fun.
"Nearly 91 percent of our dairy farms in this state are family owned. Let it be known that that tradition continues proudly here in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Generation after generation have been transforming and advancing this industry," said Cawley.
The work celebrates the 100th anniversary of 4-H clubs and the state's 113 county fairs. Jim Victor, of Montgomery County, is the butter sculptor. At the end of the Farm Show, the butter will be fed into a digester on a Juniata County farm that turns agricultural waste into electricity. It will create an estimated 65 kilowatts of power.