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55th annual butter sculpture takes shape at the New York State Fair

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  • Staff Report 

The New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse buzzes with anticipation as sculptors Jim Victor and Marie Pelton craft the iconic 55th Annual American Dairy Association North East Butter Sculpture, sponsored by Wegmans.

This year’s sculpture, which will be revealed to the public on August 22, is made from over 800 pounds of butter sourced from Batavia, N.Y.-based O-AT-KA Milk Products. While this butter is deemed unsuitable for retail sale due to various reasons, it’s being transformed into a magnificent artwork, symbolizing the dedication of dairy farm families working throughout the year.

John Chrisman, CEO of American Dairy Association North East, emphasized the sculpture’s longstanding status as a fairground favorite and its tribute to the dairy sector. After its 13-day showcase, the butter won’t go to waste. Instead, it will find a new purpose at Noblehurst Farms in Pavilion, N.Y., where it’ll be converted into renewable energy, powering the farm and over 300 homes in the region. This initiative not only minimizes the farm’s carbon footprint but also curbs greenhouse gas emissions by redirecting food waste from landfills. The theme of the previous year’s sculpture was “Refuel Her Greatness,” marking the 50th anniversary of Title IX.