Pennsylvania is recognizing the state’s diverse career options in agriculture with a half-ton butter sculpture. The 2018 butter sculpture was unveiled this week at the 102nd Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg. The sculpture, sponsored by American Dairy Association North East (ADANE), highlights just four of the hundreds of career choices available to nearly 500,000 Pennsylvanians who work in the state’s agriculture sector.
“The 2018 Farm Show theme is ‘Strength in our Diversity,'” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Visitors to this year’s event can explore the wide range of career options in the agriculture and food industry – from apiarist to zoologist. We invite Farm Show guests to learn about the people, products, and production methods that generate $7.5 billion annually for Pennsylvania’s economy.”
Redding unveiled the sculpture with help from Lancaster County dairy farmer Maria Forry, Pennsylvania State Dairy Princess Yvonne Longenecker of Blair County, and sculptors Jim Victor and Marie Pelton of Montgomery County. The sculptors began work in mid-December to create the five figures – an agronomist, a dairy farmer, a processor, a consumer, and a cow – to represent the diversity in Pennsylvania’s food, fiber, and fuel sector.
“The butter sculpture is a creative way to showcase the dairy industry, and this year it also provides an opportunity for us to join with our partners in agriculture and show Strength in Our Diversity,” said Maria Forry of Oregon Dairy in Lititz. “Providing milk and food for our communities is important to us all, so I’m proud to represent Pennsylvania’s dairy farm families today.”
The butter sculpture will remain on display in the Farm Show’s Main Hall, literally, until the cows go home. Then, the butter, which was donated by Land O’ Lakes in Carlisle, Cumberland County, will be moved to the Reinford Farm in Juniata County to be converted into renewable energy in the farm’s methane digester.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the nation’s largest indoor agricultural event, featuring 12,000 competitive exhibits, more than 5,200 of which are animal competitions, plus 300 commercial exhibitors. The show runs January 6 – 13, 2018.