Fact Sheet: Butter Sculpting « BackView PDFPrintEmail Friend
- The butter sculpting booth (in the Dairy Building) is a Minnesota State Fair exhibit sponsored by Midwest Dairy Association through its nearly 4,000 dairy farmers. It’s one of the most popular attractions at the fair.
- On opening day of the State Fair, the newly crowned Princess Kay of the Milky Way has her likeness carved. The sculpting continues throughout the fair with the other Princess Kay finalists.
- Each sculpture is carved from a 90-pound block of Grade A butter, which is produced exclusively for this activity by Associated Milk Producers, Inc. (AMPI), in New Ulm.
- 2012 is artist Linda Christensen’s 41st year of creating butter sculptures for the dairy industry at the State Fair. Linda has sculpted more than 450 butter sculptures throughout the years, including likenesses of David Letterman, former Minnesota First Lady Mary Pawlenty and Big Bird.
- Butter sculpting at the State Fair was initiated to highlight Minnesota’s claim as the “butter capital of the nation.”
- Various butter sculptures were featured at the Minnesota State Fair from 1898 through 1927. In 1965, the American Dairy Association of Minnesota began its tradition of having the likenesses of dairy princesses sculpted in butter, and constructed the original booth.
- In 2008, a new butter-sculpting booth was unveiled, which is more energy efficient and two feet larger than the previous booth, offering a better view.
- The temperature inside the rotating butter booth is 40°F.
- It takes 21.8 pounds of whole milk to make a pound of butter.
- A complete butter sculpture takes about six hours to complete.
- Midwest Dairy Association helps to sponsor butter sculpting at several other state fairs in its 10 states, but sculpting in front of fair-goers using a live model is unique to Minnesota.
- The history of butter sculpture began in the 1800s when frontier women molded and imprinted their homemade butter.
Brian or Jen Bellmont