What Happens to All That Butter?


Butter sculpture at the 2019 NYS Fair. Sarah Gager/WSKG News

VESTAL, NY (WSKG) — For more than half a century, one feature of the New York State Fair has been a massive sculpture made out of butter. This year’s 800-pound sculpture depicts a grandfather and child dunking cookies in a glass of milk, and a young couple sharing a milkshake.

But when the fair closes, what happens to all that butter?

Diana Dibble is with the American Dairy Association Northeast. The association organizes the sculpture. She says it will be dismantled and brought to a western New York farm where it will be recycled. It will be converted into renewable energy by being put through a methane digester with food waste and cow manure.

“It will also become fertilizer to help grow crops to feed the cows on the farm,” Dibble added.

The American Dairy Association also coordinates a butter sculpture for the Pennsylvania Farm Show. The next farm show is in early January.

The New York State Fair closes Labor Day*.

*Corrects an earlier version that had the wrong day listed for the fair’s close.