Spoiler Alert: State Fair butter sculpture unveiled

2010 butter sculpture

It's a State Fair staple, something families look forward to every year. This morning, the much-anticipated butter sculpture was unveiled at the State Fairgrounds.

This year, it's called Dairyville 2020 and it depicts a farm of the future, providing food, energy and jobs to the local community. Just imagine what the future would look like when technology and tradition merge and you'll understand the vision behind this year's dairy sculpture.

Click on the slideshow above to see photos of this year's sculpture.

"More than just milk is produced on farms," said Rick Naczi, CEO for the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council, Inc. "This year, we chose to highlight some of the other benefits of having farms in our communities, such as the preservation of green space, the security of a safe, local, fresh and year-round affordable food supply, jobs creation in affiliated industries, and - perhaps most revolutionary - a future where even the manure produced by cows can be repurposed and given new life in green, renewable energy."

Even the butter itself will find new life by once again turning corn's best friend into fuel - biodiesel. Altogether, the sculpture is expected to yield more than 90 gallons of fuel, which will be used to transport SUNY-ESF students.

"Butter to biodiesel is probably not going to be the solution to all the fuel problems in the world, obviously, but what's going to be important is that people are aware that these alternative energies have to be examined in a lot more detail, because we're going to need something in the future," said Dr. Chris Nomura with the ESF Chemistry department.

Artists Jim Victor and his wife Marie Pelton created the work of art for the eighth straight year. They spent several freezing days creating this work of art. It took ten days in all to complete, working eight hours a day. Jim spent the first few days with the temperature set at 60 degrees to keep the butter pliable, but once it was time for the detail work, the temperature dropped to the mid-30s to help the butter maintain its shape.

It took 800 pounds of butter from Wegmans and a lot of hard to work to complete. Imagine that: 800 pounds of butter. That's the equivalent of 533 Apple iPads, six Justin Biebers, about eight newborn calves or three newborn elephants. Here are some other fun facts:

800 pounds of butter is:

*One days' work from 287 cows, or ten months work from one cow*2,000 gallons of milk*Average butter consumption is around 4.5 pounds per person, per year. At that rate, it would take more than 177 years to eat that much butter

And think about this, every day the 14-cow heard shown in the sculpture:

*Produces nearly 50 gallons of milk*Drinks 700 gallons of water*Eats about 1400 pounds of food*If the manure produced by these cows was converted to green, renewable energy, that would equal taking seven cars off the road

So what do you think of the sculpture? Like it? Dislike it? Do you go see the sculpture when you visit the Fair each year? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!