100 years of buttery, bovine beauty

Those of you who know me, know I’m all about the cows. I grew up on an Iowa dairy farm and spent 35 years promoting the dairy industry. So, this year’s Iowa State Fairhits me in the heart with its tribute to 100 years of the butter cow.

Always an attraction, this year the butter cow is everywhere. One hundred decorated cow statues dot the fairgrounds. Since these statues are more calf sized than cow sized, they’re not as easy to spot. And they’re easy to tuck into places you might not expect them. Finding every cow and having my picture taken with every one would take more than one day at the fair.

The sand sculpture in the Cultural Center is gradually turning into a cow and calf beside a very large block of butter and an even larger butter knife.

As I write this, I realize I didn’t take a picture of the actual butter cow even though I went to see it. Long lines filed past the butter cow, just as always. This year the butter cow pays tribute to Duffy Lyonwho sculpted the butter cow for 46 years and who passed away this year. Standing beside the butter cow is a teenage Duffy holding a butterfly in her hand. Also in sculpture is a young version of Joe Lyon, her husband of 60 years.

I hope you make it to the Iowa State Fair this year. And while you’re there, find a cow. Or 100. It’s only fitting.

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