Although the Farm Show didn’t kick off this year with the unveiling of 1,000 pounds of carved butter, it reinvented the event staple for 2021. The PA Food Merchants Association was excited to partner with the PA Farm Show and PA Department of Agriculture on Butter Up!—a new, at-home butter sculpture experience. Congratulations to this year’s inaugural winners:
Elementary Winner: Ayleigh Mowers, Duck Slide, Cumberland County; Runner-up: Emily Bentzen, Bunny Hopper, Franklin County
Middle School Winner: Lilly Shaffer, Buttery Bunny, Lebanon County; Runner-up: Laura Amundson, Creamy Cactus, Northumberland County
High School Winner: Kevon Weaver, A Farmer & His Dog, Lancaster County; Runner-up: Kelly Bliss, Butter Barnyard, Huntingdon County
Adult Winner: Garrett McCall, The Good Shepherd, Cambria County; Runner-up: Amanda Kipe, Apple Pie, Lancaster County
Senior Winner: Janet Shinn, Grow Success, Somerset County; Runner-up: Margaret Brostrom, Dr. Levine, Venango County
“These sculptures are amazing! More than 130 participants showed us phenomenal creativity and skill, while often connecting to themes and stories from Pennsylvania and the Farm Show,” said Alex Baloga, president and CEO of the PA Food Merchants Association. “Great job to all who participated, and thank you to our partners, sponsors and members for your support to make this happen.”
The contest kicked off Saturday, Jan. 9, as the PA Farm Show and PA Department of Agriculture launched a full week of interactive, virtual events. Pennsylvania residents were encouraged to creatively carve their own butter sculptures and submit them to the PA Farm Show Facebook page by Saturday, Jan. 16. Winners, chosen by popular vote on Facebook, earned gift cards donated by PA Food Merchants Association sponsors and members. First place in each category received a $50 gift card, and runners up received $25.
“Pennsylvanians showed up in an incredible way for this butter sculpture contest. The entries highlighted the strength and diversity of Pennsylvania agriculture and their participation raised awareness for Pennsylvania’s essential and resilient dairy industry,” said Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Congratulations to the winners and a special thanks to the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association for their support of this inaugural butter sculpture contest, they truly helped it come to life.”
The idea for the butter sculpture contest was whipped up in December, quickly gaining traction as an opportunity to engage Pennsylvanians in a fun, educational and interactive event that promoted a longstanding state tradition. Last year’s butter sculpture, sponsored by the American Dairy Association of the Northeast, celebrated Pennsylvania mascots Gritty of the Philadelphia Flyers, Swoop of the Philadelphia Eagles, and Steely McBeam of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Participants this year worked with 1 pound of butter at home.
PFMA was pleased to support the event, the Farm Show and our partners in agriculture and dairy. A special thanks goes to our members Giant Food Stores, Giant/Eagle, Wegmans, Square One Markets and C&S Wholesale Grocers for contributing prizes.