Butter Cow
The 2017 Illinois State Fair's butter cows are named Elsa and Easy. They are Jersey Cows. 
 

The butter cow is a tradition, and almost the stuff of legend, at the Illinois State Fair. But it is not unique.  

The 2018 Illinois State Fair butter cow has a bicentennial theme this year. 

That's fitting, since the cow made from hundreds of pounds of real butter has been a staple at the fair in Springfield for decades. It's been so long that Marla Behrends with the Midwest Dairy Association says most folks can't remember a fair without one. 

But Illinois isn't the only state fair with something carved out of butter. 

"In Minnesota, they actually carve the head of the contestants of the Princess Kay of the Milky Way pageant," Behrends said, adding that Minnesota has 12 Princess Kay busts, each sculpted from 90 bounds of butter. 

There are also butter sculptures across the Midwest and the plains, but participants can also butter designs in New York and Texas. 

"Of course, our neighbors in Iowa have a cow as well. And then they also have various other things. One year it was an astronaut," Behrends said. "There have been some sculptures in North Dakota, South Dakota, down in Oklahoma, and in Texas."

Visitors can see Illinois' butter cow at the Dairy Building at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield through Aug. 19. 

Reporter

An industry veteran with two decades of experience in media, Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois statewide issues for INN. Yount also hosts Watchdog Radio, a daily radio show on Cities 92.9 in Bloomington/Normal.

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