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Farm Show announces second Butter Up! amateur butter sculpture contest

Winning sculptors from each age group will receive gift cards from Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association members and one-day parking passes for the 2022 Farm Show.
Credit: Pennsylvania Dept. of Agriculture
"The Good Shepherd," winner of last year's Pennsylvania Farm Show Butter Up! amateur butter sculpture contest.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Fans of the Pennsylvania Farm Show's annual butter sculpture will have a chance to try their hand at crafting their own butter creations at the second annual Butter Up sculpture contest, Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding announced Monday.

The contest, conducted on social media, will be open for submissions from Friday, December 3 through noon on Friday, December 17.

"Every year, millions tune in to see the unveiling of a 1,000-pound sculpture to kick off our annual Pennsylvania Farm Show," said Redding. "The butter sculpture shines a spotlight on the goodness of Pennsylvania dairy and the hardworking people who keep nutritious products on our tables year-round. Now everyone can get in the act and show off their artistic flair with one of Pennsylvania’s favorite products.”

Winning sculptors from each age group will receive gift cards from Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association (PFMA) members and one-day parking passes for the 2022 Farm Show.

"The Butter Up! contest is a perfect opportunity to engage the public in one of the most beloved traditions of the Pennsylvania Farm Show, said PFMA president and CEO Alex Baloga. "We had great participation and amazing submissions last year.

"PFMA is grateful for this collaboration that highlights our friends at the Farm Show and in the dairy industry. And thank you to our generous members for donating contest prizes.”

Butter Up! contest guidelines:

  • Individuals can use up to 5 pounds of butter
  • Contestants are allowed to use chicken wire, sculpting wire, and a base to support the design
  • Food dye or coloring of any kind to enhance the butter is prohibited
  • Sculptures must be unique, individual work of the entrants

While not a requirement, the department suggests using local butter, to support Pennsylvania's dairy industry. 

Pennsylvania butter can be identified by looking for the PA Preferred® logo, plant code 42, or purchasing directly from a local farm market that sources from a Pennsylvania dairy.

Entrants will be judged in six age groups: 

  • five and under
  • elementary school (ages five to 10)
  • middle school (ages 11-13)
  • high school (ages 14-18)
  • adult (ages 19-64)
  • senior (ages 65+)

Winners and runners up will be judged by fans of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Facebook page by total reactions (likes, loves, wows, cares, etc.).

Complete guidelines, rules and regulations are online at farmshow.pa.gov.

In September, Redding unveiled the 2022 Farm Show theme, Harvesting More, with help from Garret McCall, winner of the first Butter Up! competition held during the virtual 2021 PA Farm Show. 

McCall’s entry, The Good Shepherd, garnered the most engagement in the social media contest.

The 2022 Pennsylvania Farm Show will feature a return of fan-favorites like the 1,000-pound butter sculpture, famous Farm Show Food Court, bunny hopping and sheep shearing competitions (among hundreds of other competitive agricultural events), cooking demonstrations at the PA Preferred® Culinary Connection, and more than one million square feet of hands-on agriculture education opportunities and chances to engage with the people who power Pennsylvania’s $132.5 billion agriculture industry.

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