HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A sculpture made from nearly 1,000 pounds of butter and showcasing a fundraising campaign for an innovative food bank milk program was unveiled today at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.
The sculpture, sponsored by Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program, is the 25th displayed at the show. It features the first-of-its-kind milk distribution program implemented by the two organizations and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in June 2014.
The sculpture depicts a food bank worker pouring milk into a glass held by a little boy standing next to his mother. A dairy farmer and his cow watch, standing next to a refrigerated case filled with gallons of milk, the words "Fill a Glass with Hope" carved above.
"For 25 years, the butter sculpture has been a landmark within the Pennsylvania Farm Show," said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. "I'm proud that this year showcases the department's pioneering initiative that gets milk into the hands of Pennsylvanians who need it the most. This milk distribution program is only possible because of partners in our dairy industry and at the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank."
Through the public-private partnership, Pennsylvania dairy farmers ship milk to Harrisburg Dairies to be processed for the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. The department facilitated the process of discounting milk for purchase by the food bank for its clients.
Greig noted that the program has proven good for farmers, milk dealers, food banks, and for Pennsylvanians in need. He added that dairy is the largest segment of Pennsylvania's agriculture industry, with milk production alone contributing about 32 percent of all agricultural income at more than $2.3 billion. Dairy farmers spend nearly 85 percent of their income close to home.
"The butter sculpture is a creative way to showcase the dairy industry and for dairy farmers to tell the story of how we produce healthy and nutritious dairy foods," said Joyce Bupp, a York County dairy farmer and member of the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program boards of directors. "It also provides an opportunity for us to join with other partners in supporting mutual causes and programs like hunger relief efforts."
Greig unveiled the sculpture alongside Bupp, Pennsylvania State Dairy Princess Ashley Mohn, sculptor Jim Victor and food bank Executive Director Joe Arthur.
Crafted by Victor and Marie Pelton of Conshohocken, Montgomery County, the butter sculpture creation begins in mid-December and is finished in time for the Farm Show. Victor also creates sculptures using chocolate and cheese.
At the close of the show, the butter, donated by Land O' Lakes in Carlisle, Cumberland County, will be given to a Juniata County dairy farm. The butter will be put through a digester and converted to about 65 kilowatt hours of electricity to help operate the farm and homes in the community. Through the Land O'Lakes Foundation, the company has donated more than 80,000 pounds of food to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program are funded by dairy farmers to promote milk and dairy products. For more information, visit www.dairyspot.com.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, with 24 acres under one roof that feature nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibitors. Admission is free and parking is $10.
For more information visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us.
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Media contact: Samantha Elliott Krepps, 717-787-5085
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture