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August 12, 2011

Butter Cow To Be Sculpted Live The First Two Days Of The Illinois State Fair
A new twist on an old Illinois State Fair tradition

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The butter cow has been a main attraction at the Illinois State Fair since 1922, but it has always been completed before fairgoers arrive at the Dairy Building.  

This year, however, sculptor Sharon BuMann of Central Square, N.Y., intends to finish the famous cow live, while it is rotating on a platform in its refrigerated octagonal case. 

BuMann began working on this year’s bovine Monday and plans to finish the sculpture late Saturday evening.

“We’re hoping to have a record number of people out here when I finish,” she said.
BuMann  also announced there will be a few surprises in this year’s sculpture, including some color. 

The case that BuMann works in is 39 degrees.  To stay warm, she wears gear that makes it look as if she is skiing. She also keeps herself entertained by listening to Elvis music on her iPod.

Another unique feature of this year’s butter cow is its inspiration. The cow is modeled after a real grand champion dairy cow from Minnesota. Its name is Charm and she will be ten years old in May. Charm’s owner, Katelyn Orth, is working as an intern at the Illinois State Fair this year for the Midwest Dairy Association and says Charm has a great personality and is very pampered. 

“She has the first stall in the barn.  Her whole family is in there with her,” Katelyn said of her now famous cow.

The Illinois State Fair has installed a web cam so internet surfers can watch BuMann work.  To watch the Cow Cam, go to www.illinoisstatefair.info.


Eighteen-year-old Sarah DeSchepper won her third consecutive junior sheep show today, and her fourth Illinois State Fair grand champion title overall.

“He’s the best lamb I ever had, but you never know if you’ll win or if the judge will like him,” DeSchepper said.  “I was so nervous, shakin’, just hoping he (the judge) would pick him.” 

It was only a good day for DeSchepper, but also for her entire family.

“My brother won a class and my sister won a class. There was just a positive atmosphere,” she said.

DeSchepper is a member of the Cloverleaf 4-H and the ROWVA FFA Chapter. She has been showing animals for 10 years now.  Her wether will be sold next Tuesday in the Governor’s Sale of Champions, an auction of the fair’s prize-winning junior livestock.  In order to continue her family’s success, DeSchepper plans to use the money from the sale to buy more lambs and help her siblings.

Taking the Reserve Grand Champion title was Jared Whitcomb, 19, and his Hampshire wether.  A Greenview resident and a Greenview Boosters 4-H member, Whitcomb has been showing for 19 years.


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