Dairy Day Celebration Highlights Dairy Pride Tomorrow, Thursday, September 1

Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball Announces Winners of The 2019 Dairy Products Competition at The Great New York State Fair

New In 2022: See What You’d Look Like as a Butter Sculpture!


The 2022 Great New York State Fair will hold its 45th annual Dairy Day celebration tomorrow, Thursday, September 1 with a full slate of events and opportunities for fairgoers to enjoy New York’s high-quality dairy products and learn about the state’s largest agricultural sector. Plus, new this year, there’s a new interactive way for fairgoers to show off their love for dairy! If anyone has ever wondered what they’ll look like as a Butter Sculpture, they’ll get their wish during the 2022 Fair.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “We are happy to bring back Dairy Day at the 2022 Great New York State Fair. Dairy Day is always a favorite among fairgoers. It gives our dairy industry an opportunity to showcase delicious dairy products made right here in New York State. From a simple, refreshing cold $.25 glass of milk, to new milkshake concoctions created on the spot, the day gives visitors a chance to recognize the state’s dairy farmers and dairy processors.”

Keeping with tradition, Dairy Day will feature several events and activities to showcase New York State’s dairy industry:

  • The day begins with an awards ceremony, recognizing honorees with the Dairy of Distinction Awards, the PRO-DAIRY Service Awards and the winners of the New York State Dairy Products Competition. The awards presentation begins at 9:00 a.m. in the banquet room of Daniella’s Seafood and Pasta House, formerly the Empire Room. Then, fairgoers can check out the winning “Cheese” and “Fluid Milk” selections in a display cooler next to the Butter Sculpture in the Dairy Products Building.
  • At 10:30 a.m. at the Chevy Court Pavilion, media teams from Central New York will “shake it up” in a competition to see who can create the best looking and tastiest milkshake in the Undeniably Dairy Shake-Off Milkshake Contest.


And, of course, while they’re in the Dairy Products Building, fairgoers are encouraged to admire the Butter Sculpture, sculpted by Jim Victor and Marie Pelton. This year’s theme, presented by American Dairy Association North East, is “Refuel Her Greatness – Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Title IX,”  which advanced equality in sports for female athletes. The Butter Sculpture was revealed on August 23, the day before The Fair officially opened to the public.  Sponsored by Wegmans Food Markets Inc., it will be on display through the Fair. This is the 54th year of the tradition.

New this year, fairgoers are encouraged to participate in a fun, interactive social media exercise where they can see what they’d look like as a Butter Sculpture. By scanning a QR code – which is accessible on signage in the Dairy Products Building, and here – fairgoers can cue up a “Butterizer” filter, which will superimpose their face onto a bust of butter. Fairgoers will see what they look like on display and will be able to share the information on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtags, #NYSFair and #ButterizeMe. The Butterizer feature works on a mobile device anywhere there is internet – you don’t necessarily have to be on the Fairgrounds to participate in the fun.

Interim Fair Director Sean Hennessey said, “The Butterizer is one of the things that we’re most excited to introduce to fairgoers, and it’s been fun to watch the pictures pop up across social media as the community discovers the special filter. This is a fun, creative way for us to continue to highlight the dairy industry, while partaking in the many foods and beverages produced by our New York dairy farmers and processors.”

Fairgoers visiting the Dairy Products Building will have many options to choose from, ranging from a variety of dairy products at the Milky Bun Bar, to samples of cheeses from across New York State and state Grown & Certified processors. Attendees will also have opportunities to meet the State and county Dairy Ambassadors at the “Reset Yourself with Dairy” exhibit. The Dairy Products Building is open from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Another way that fairgoers can learn about the dairy industry - and meet baby calves - is by watching live births of baby calves in the Dairy Cow Birthing Center. Here, more than 200 farmers, veterinarians, business representatives and agricultural students volunteer to assist with the births and explain the process to the public. The exhibit also offers calves for petting and educational exhibits about the dairy industry. The Dairy Cow Birthing Center is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

The Dairy Cattle Barn, which houses all the dairy cattle showed at the Fair, will also be open to visitors. Here, fairgoers may observe cows being milked and learn how milk gets from cow to glass. The Dairy Cattle Barn is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. On Labor Day, all barns and buildings close at 9 p.m.

Eileen Jensen, Executive Director of the New York Animal Agriculture Coalition (NYAAC), said, “We’re excited to be at the NYS Fair to celebrate the state’s dairy industry and New York dairy farmers. For nearly a decade, the Birthing Center has provided a platform for farmers to help others understand and appreciate animal culture. Already, we have celebrated 17 ‘uddermiracles’ at the Dairy Cow Birthing Center where we not only celebrate the miracle of life, but offer full transparency through engaging conversations.”

John Chrisman, CEO of American Dairy Association North East, said, “We’re pleased to take part in Dairy Day, honoring the State’s hardworking dairy farmers who ensure an ample supply of fresh, wholesome milk. We encourage fairgoers to come to the Dairy Products Building to check out the must-see annual Butter Sculpture and visit the ‘Reset Yourself with Dairy’ photo experience to discover how dairy and its simple nutrition help you take flight! Snap a photo with beautiful milk wings, scan the QR code on our giant milk carton, and receive some great recipes to help ‘Reset Yourself with Dairy.’”

The Dairy Industry in New York: New York’s dairy industry is a critical sector of the state’s economy and as its leading agricultural sector, dairy accounts for approximately one-half of New York’s total agricultural income. New York State has nearly 3,600 dairy producers that produce over 15 billion pounds of milk annually, making New York the nation’s fifth largest dairy state. New York’s unique and talented dairy producers and processors provide significant contributions to New York’s agriculture industry, the economy, and to the health of our communities.

The Fair continues through Monday, September 5. Founded in 1841, the Great New York State Fair showcases the best of New York agriculture, provides top-quality entertainment and is a key piece of the state’s CNY Rising strategy of growing the Central New York economy through tourism. The 2022 Fair begins Wednesday, August 24, and continues through Monday, September 5.  

The New York State Fairgrounds is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. Audiences are encouraged to learn more about the Great New York State Fair online, and follow the fun on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Guests are invited to see photos from the Fair on Flickr and ideas are always welcome. New Yorkers are encouraged to send suggestions via email to statefairideas@agriculture.ny.gov