Butter cow, calf are back, butter than ever


Matt Davidson is not only a sculptor, but also a Sidney, Ohio, dairy farmer. For the first time since 2019, a team of technical sculptors worked inside a 46-degree cooler to create life-sized butter sculptures, one of the oldest and best-loved traditions at the Ohio State Fair.

Matt Davidson is not only a sculptor, but also a Sidney, Ohio, dairy farmer. For the first time since 2019, a team of technical sculptors worked inside a 46-degree cooler to create life-sized butter sculptures, one of the oldest and best-loved traditions at the Ohio State Fair.


Courtesy photo

Madelyn Topp, 19, of Botkins, comes from a long line of dairy farmers. One of her favorite childhood memories is showing the dairy cows she and her family raised at the Ohio State Fair, a tradition that is being honored as the theme of this year’s butter display.


Courtesy photo

A team of technical sculptors were back inside the cooler at the Ohio State Fair for the first time in three years to sculpt the biggest butter display ever. More than 2,500 pounds of butter were used to create a massive display celebrating the kids who work hard to raise their animals and show them at the fair.


Courtesy photo

Technical sculptor Paul Brooke works inside a 46-degree cooler to chisel the details of this year’s butter display. Fairgoers returning to the fair this year can enjoy the biggest butter display ever, which took over 2,500 pounds of butter to create.


Courtesy photo

Tammy Buerk sculpts the traditional butter calf inside a cooler at the Ohio State Fair. For the first time in three years, the butter display is back and bigger than ever. Fairgoers can gaze upon more than 2,500 pounds of butter, artfully crafted into life-size sculptures.


Courtesy photo

The traditional butter cow and calf are being shown by young exhibitors inside the butter cooler at the Ohio State Fair this year. The display, presented by the American Dairy Association Mideast, celebrates the fair’s agricultural heritage.


Courtesy photo

Madelyn Topp, of Botkins, proudly displays one of the many trophies she earned showing her animals at the Ohio State Fair growing up. It’s a tradition that’s being honored this year as the theme of the much-anticipated butter display.


Courtesy photo

For the first time ever, the traditional butter cow and calf are joined by other farm animals inside the butter cooler. This year’s butter display celebrates the agricultural roots of the fair, depicting young exhibitors showing their animals.


Courtesy photo

Technical sculptor Joe Metzler works on a butter sculpture of a child showing their animal at the fair. This year’s butter display theme pays homage to the agricultural roots of the Ohio State Fair.


Courtesy photo

This year’s butter display recognizes the hard work of the kids who show their animals each year at the Ohio State Fair. It’s the first time that the traditional butter cow and calf are joined by other farm animals inside the butter cooler.


Courtesy photo

COLUMBUS — For the first time since 2019, the American Dairy Association Mideast’s annual butter cow display is back at the Ohio State Fair and is bigger than ever, paying homage to the fair’s rich agricultural heritage.

The Ohio State Fair began more than 170 years ago and since then, the fair has grown, welcoming hundreds of thousands of guests each year to enjoy a variety of food, attractions, rides and concerts. But the roots of the fair remain grounded in agriculture, highlighting farm families and their contributions to our communities.

This year’s display features 10 life-size butter sculptures including the traditional cow and calf, and for the first time ever, other livestock – a pig, a lamb and a chicken – all being proudly shown by kids at the fair where they are being recognized for their hard work.

The butter display was sculpted by a team of technical sculptors including lead sculptor Paul Brooke of Cincinnati and Tammy Buerk of West Chester, Erin Birum of Columbus, dairy farmer Matt Davidson of Sidney, Joe Metzler of Auburn and Karen Tharp of Fort Myers, Florida.

In a video about the sculptures, Madelyn Topp, 19, of Botkins, is interviewed about her family’s involvement at the Ohio State Fair.

“State fair is one of our favorite times because we get to see so many people, I get to interact with the public and talk with them. They ask me so many questions about the dairy industry and I love to tell them everything I know because the dairy industry and being involved with these girls and these cows are everything I live for,” said Topp.

She said there have been generations of her family who have shown animals at the Ohio State Fair.

Topp says dairy farming has been a part of her life from the very beginning:

“Ever since I’ve been little, we’ve been out here milking every single day. So one thing that’s very unique about the dairy industry is, uh, no matter the holiday, no matter the weather, no matter it’s 110 degrees or negative 10 degrees, doesn’t matter. We’re out here every day.”

While the butter sculptures typically weigh-in around 2,000 pounds, this year’s record-breaking display uses 2,530 pounds of butter, donated in part by Dairy Farmers of America, and was completed in 600 hours, 500 of which were spent sculpting.

The butter sculptures are exhibited in the Dairy Products Building at the Ohio Expo Center in a large walk-in refrigerated cooler that is 36 feet long by 11 feet wide and maintained at an energy-efficient 46 degrees.

The butter cow display attracts more than 500,000 visitors to the Ohio State Fair, often gaining nationwide recognition and media attention. A long-standing tradition for Ohio’s 1,550 dairy farm families, the American Dairy Association Mideast chooses an icon or theme to feature in butter that is non-political, non-controversial and reflects optimism and broad audience appeal. Each year, the theme of the butter cow display is one of the best-kept secrets leading up to the fair.

The Dairy Products Building is open daily and offers a variety of dairy foods, including the Ohio State Fair official ice cream flavor Red, White & Blueberry – a vanilla ice cream ice cream with strawberry pieces and a blueberry swirl by Velvet Ice Cream. A variety of other ice cream flavors, milkshakes, cheese sandwiches and milk are also available.

While visiting the Dairy Products Building, fair visitors can learn about how Ohio’s dairy farmers care for their cows and land to produce safe, wholesome milk.

The butter display and the Dairy Products Building are sponsored by the American Dairy Association Mideast, Ohio’s dairy farmer-funded marketing and promotion program. For more information, visit www.drink-milk.com.

Matt Davidson is not only a sculptor, but also a Sidney, Ohio, dairy farmer. For the first time since 2019, a team of technical sculptors worked inside a 46-degree cooler to create life-sized butter sculptures, one of the oldest and best-loved traditions at the Ohio State Fair.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/07/web1_7-matt.jpgMatt Davidson is not only a sculptor, but also a Sidney, Ohio, dairy farmer. For the first time since 2019, a team of technical sculptors worked inside a 46-degree cooler to create life-sized butter sculptures, one of the oldest and best-loved traditions at the Ohio State Fair. Courtesy photo

Madelyn Topp, 19, of Botkins, comes from a long line of dairy farmers. One of her favorite childhood memories is showing the dairy cows she and her family raised at the Ohio State Fair, a tradition that is being honored as the theme of this year’s butter display.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/07/web1_10-madelynandcow.jpgMadelyn Topp, 19, of Botkins, comes from a long line of dairy farmers. One of her favorite childhood memories is showing the dairy cows she and her family raised at the Ohio State Fair, a tradition that is being honored as the theme of this year’s butter display. Courtesy photo

A team of technical sculptors were back inside the cooler at the Ohio State Fair for the first time in three years to sculpt the biggest butter display ever. More than 2,500 pounds of butter were used to create a massive display celebrating the kids who work hard to raise their animals and show them at the fair.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/07/web1_9-sculpting1.jpgA team of technical sculptors were back inside the cooler at the Ohio State Fair for the first time in three years to sculpt the biggest butter display ever. More than 2,500 pounds of butter were used to create a massive display celebrating the kids who work hard to raise their animals and show them at the fair. Courtesy photo

Technical sculptor Paul Brooke works inside a 46-degree cooler to chisel the details of this year’s butter display. Fairgoers returning to the fair this year can enjoy the biggest butter display ever, which took over 2,500 pounds of butter to create.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/07/web1_5-paul.jpgTechnical sculptor Paul Brooke works inside a 46-degree cooler to chisel the details of this year’s butter display. Fairgoers returning to the fair this year can enjoy the biggest butter display ever, which took over 2,500 pounds of butter to create. Courtesy photo

Tammy Buerk sculpts the traditional butter calf inside a cooler at the Ohio State Fair. For the first time in three years, the butter display is back and bigger than ever. Fairgoers can gaze upon more than 2,500 pounds of butter, artfully crafted into life-size sculptures.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/07/web1_8-tammy.jpgTammy Buerk sculpts the traditional butter calf inside a cooler at the Ohio State Fair. For the first time in three years, the butter display is back and bigger than ever. Fairgoers can gaze upon more than 2,500 pounds of butter, artfully crafted into life-size sculptures. Courtesy photo

The traditional butter cow and calf are being shown by young exhibitors inside the butter cooler at the Ohio State Fair this year. The display, presented by the American Dairy Association Mideast, celebrates the fair’s agricultural heritage.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/07/web1_2-display1.jpgThe traditional butter cow and calf are being shown by young exhibitors inside the butter cooler at the Ohio State Fair this year. The display, presented by the American Dairy Association Mideast, celebrates the fair’s agricultural heritage. Courtesy photo

Madelyn Topp, of Botkins, proudly displays one of the many trophies she earned showing her animals at the Ohio State Fair growing up. It’s a tradition that’s being honored this year as the theme of the much-anticipated butter display.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/07/web1_15-madelyntrophy.jpgMadelyn Topp, of Botkins, proudly displays one of the many trophies she earned showing her animals at the Ohio State Fair growing up. It’s a tradition that’s being honored this year as the theme of the much-anticipated butter display. Courtesy photo

For the first time ever, the traditional butter cow and calf are joined by other farm animals inside the butter cooler. This year’s butter display celebrates the agricultural roots of the fair, depicting young exhibitors showing their animals.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/07/web1_1-display2.jpgFor the first time ever, the traditional butter cow and calf are joined by other farm animals inside the butter cooler. This year’s butter display celebrates the agricultural roots of the fair, depicting young exhibitors showing their animals. Courtesy photo

Technical sculptor Joe Metzler works on a butter sculpture of a child showing their animal at the fair. This year’s butter display theme pays homage to the agricultural roots of the Ohio State Fair.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/07/web1_6-joe.jpgTechnical sculptor Joe Metzler works on a butter sculpture of a child showing their animal at the fair. This year’s butter display theme pays homage to the agricultural roots of the Ohio State Fair. Courtesy photo

This year’s butter display recognizes the hard work of the kids who show their animals each year at the Ohio State Fair. It’s the first time that the traditional butter cow and calf are joined by other farm animals inside the butter cooler.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/07/web1_11-chickenpig.jpgThis year’s butter display recognizes the hard work of the kids who show their animals each year at the Ohio State Fair. It’s the first time that the traditional butter cow and calf are joined by other farm animals inside the butter cooler. Courtesy photo