HARRISBURG, PA — Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding recently unveiled the 2022 Pennsylvania Farm Show butter sculpture. Carved from a half-ton of butter, it highlights this year’s theme of Harvesting More.
The sculpture, a longtime PA Farm Show staple that celebrates Pennsylvania’s nearly 5,400 dairy farmers, highlights that there is strength in diversity and unity. Pennsylvania agriculture is present all across the commonwealth – on rural acres and in vacant city lots – and it’s all essential to ensuring the availability and accessibility of food for all.
“Over the past 22 months we have learned we are stronger and more resilient through our combined efforts to feed the commonwealth,” said Redding. “We are Harvesting More, together, to provide for Pennsylvanians through good times and bad. It takes all of us working together to ensure a bountiful, food-secure, and sustainable world.”
The sculpture, sponsored by American Dairy Association North East (ADANE), features urban and rural agriculturalists coming together by toasting glasses of milk. 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.
“The butter sculpture is a creative way to highlight the state’s dedicated dairy farmers and the important role agriculture plays in our lives,” said dairy farmer Casandra Long of Doodle-A-Long Farms in Spring City, Pa. “Producing nutritious milk and dairy products and feeding people is what I love most about being a dairy farmer.”
Recognizing that all agriculture is critical and improving infrastructure for hyper-local food production in cities was essential to addressing the food apartheid that exacerbates issues faced by low-income communities and communities of color, Governor Tom Wolf has made historic investments in urban agriculture infrastructure through the Pennsylvania Farm Bill, signed into law in 2019. Since that time, the Wolf Administration has invested more than $1.52 million in urban agriculture which has leveraged an additional $1.52 million in local investments through matching dollars.
Comparatively, Pennsylvania is home to the nation’s leading Farmland Preservation Program and has preserved more than 600,000 acres of productive agricultural land in the commonwealth. Since taking office in 2015, Gov. Wolf has made the program a priority and invested more than $253 million, an increase of 132 percent over the previous administration’s investment in the program. Combined with investments from county farmland preservation programs, Gov. Wolf’s $253 million investment has preserved more than 100,000 acres since 2015.
The butter sculpture is on display in the Farm Show’s Main Hall. Following the Farm 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.