Harrisburg, PA – Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding unveiled the 2023 Pennsylvania Farm Show butter sculpture. Carved from 1,000 pounds of butter, it highlights this year’s theme: Rooted in Progress.
The sculpture, a longtime PA Farm Show staple that celebrates Pennsylvania’s 5,200 dairy farmers, highlights the strong roots Pennsylvania agriculture has today thanks to a vision rooted in progress and eight years of targeted support and investments for the industry.
“We celebrate this year’s theme, Rooted in Progress, by highlighting the progress made over the past eight years and the opportunity that Pennsylvania’s farm families have today to innovate, diversify, and plan,” said Redding. “The entire commonwealth benefits from the strong roots we’ve cultivated for agriculture. These roots feed local economies and Pennsylvania families, they break down walls holding Pennsylvanians back, and they are a strong foundation for the future.”
The sculpture, sponsored by American Dairy Association North East (ADANE), depicts several generations of a dairy farming family, enjoying a moment together amid the backdrop of their family farm, celebrating how they work together to produce wholesome food for their community in a sustainable way.
The sculptors, Jim Victor and Marie Pelton, began work in mid-December to craft the work of art from butter donated by Land O’ Lakes in Carlisle, Cumberland County. Following the show, the butter will be moved to the Reinford Farm in Juniata County to be converted into renewable energy in the farm’s methane digester.
“The butter sculpture is a creative way to showcase the important role agriculture plays in our lives. Producing nutritious milk and dairy products, and feeding people, is what I love most about being a dairy farmer,” said dairy farmer Steve Harnish of Central Manor Dairy LLC in Washington Boro, Pa. “This sculpture could be my own family. This is a meaningful way to show how dairy farmers work with their loved ones on land where they have deep roots, but always farming for the future.”
Pennsylvania is also rooted in the next generation. The commonwealth leads the nation in preserved farmland.
Since January 2015, the Wolf Administration has invested more than $273 million in preserving 116,527 acres on 1,416 farms across the state. Since 1988, Pennsylvania has protected 6,148 farms and 619,191 acres in 58 counties from future development, investing more than $1.6 billion in our agriculture industry’s ability to feed our families and our economy.
In addition, Pennsylvania leads the nation in young farmers, with 14 percent of the state’s farmers under 35. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture lifts up new and young farmers by offering grant programs and tax incentives through the PA Farm Bill.
To learn more about the Wolf Administration’s investments in Pennsylvania’s $132.5 billion agriculture industry, including his PA Farm Bill, visit agriculture.pa.gov/funding.
The butter sculpture is on display in the Farm Show’s Main Hall.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show runs January 7-14, 2023. Admission is free. Farm Show parking is $15, and all major credit cards are accepted. For faster service, have your card ready upon entry to the parking lot. The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center is easily accessible from Interstates 81 and 83.