Iowa State Fair celebrates 100th Anniversary of the Butter Cow

Butter is a cooking and baking staple, but year after year it has proven to be an important part of the Iowa State Fair. Each year, thousands of fair goers wait to get a glimpse of the well-known Butter Cow, and other sculptures, that are created from butter.

This year is the 100th Anniversary of the Butter Cow, which is something to celebrate! It’s only appropriate to share of few facts about the yearly Iowa State Fair tradition:

  • The Butter Cow first appeared at the Iowa State Fair in 1911 (hence the 100 Year Anniversary).
  • 600 pounds of low moisture, pure cream Iowa butter goes into making the Butter Cow each year – which is enough butter to butter 19,200 slices of toast!
  • Each year, much of the butter from the Butter Cow is stored, recycled and reused (to create the butter sculptures) for up to 10 years.
  • Norma “Duffy” Lyon, who was the fourth person and first women to sculpt the Butter Cow, passed away this year. Norma had sculpted the Butter Cow since 1960 and she was known throughout the city as “The Butter Cow Lady.”
  • This year Sarah Pratt, who is the current Butter Cow sculptor (and who apprenticed with Norma Lyon), led the Iowa State Fair Parade as the Parade Marshall.
  • The Butter Cow is housed in a 40-degree cooler room and measures about 5-1/2-ft high and 8-ft long when complete.

The Iowa State Fair is August 11 – 21 this year, which gives you 7 more days to stop by the Agriculture Building at the Iowa State Fair to see the Butter Cow and the other butter sculptures!

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