SYRACUSE, NY – The New York State Fair’s American Dairy Association North East butter sculpture, an annual tradition at the fair for more than half a century, this year celebrates female athletes and the 50th anniversary of Title IX.
The sculpture depicts female athletes of various ages, with a child skiing, a teenager performing gymnastics, a college-aged woman playing lacrosse and an adult running.
Artists Jim Victor and Marie Pelton of Conshohocken, Pa., created the piece over the course of 10 days, using more than 800 pounds of butter from O-AT-KA Milk Products, in Western New York.
The art, which was sponsored by Wegmans, also gives a nod to refueling with chocolate milk, featuring a largescale bottle constructed in the middle of the piece.
Unveiled by the American Dairy Association North East at the New York State Fair on Aug. 23, the event included special guest Elle St. Pierre, a professional runner and US Olympian. St. Pierre, who also works as a dairy farmer, said, "To be able to celebrate Title IX in this way, I am reminded of all the opportunities this ruling made available for female athletes like myself – it's powerful."
Richard A. Ball, markets commissioner for the NY State Department of Agriculture, called the butter sculpture an “iconic, longtime tradition” of the state fair that helps highlight the local dairy industry.
Once the fair concludes, the butter sculpture will be deconstructed and moved to Noblehurst Farms in Linwood, NY, so it can be recycled in a methane digester to create renewable energy.