The annual butter sculpture traditionally pays tribute to the state's farm families who feed folks in their communities and beyond, but this year, New York's farmers have turned the tables to publically thank another group dedicated to providing nutritious food: the School Nutrition professionals, who prepare more than 2.3 million meals for students every day in New York State.
Created from 800 pounds of unsalted butter, "Feeding our Future" features students selecting healthy breakfast items, such as milk, fruit, cereal and yogurt from a cafeteria line. It's a scene played out in schools throughout the State according to Frances O'Donnell from the State Education Department Child Nutrition Program. "An affordable, nutritious breakfast is available at almost every school in our state-from simple items such as milk, cereal, fruit, and yogurt, to hot items like French toast or bagel and egg sandwiches."
Artie Frego is president of the New York State School Nutrition Association, the professional group, which represents school nutrition professionals. "People might be surprised to learn the amount of nutrition that's provided by a school meal. In fact, any meal purchased by a student must meet strict nutritional requirements. Breakfast provides one-quarter and lunch provides a third of the Recommended Dietary Allowances, with less than 30% of the calories from the meals coming from fat. Some of our menus rival the area's trendy cafes, with entrees like Teriyaki chicken, specialty pizzas, baked macaroni and cheese, chicken Parmesan at an average price of $2.25."
When the Fair is finished, the butter will once again find new life by turning corn's best friend into fuel-biodiesel, to be exact-as part of a joint collaboration between American Dairy Association and Dairy Council, Inc. (ADADC), and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF). The sculpture is expected to yield more than 90 gallons of fuel used in a variety of vehicles around the SUNY-ESF campus.
The 800 pounds of unsalted butter are provided courtesy of Wegmans Food Markets. Artists Jim Victor and Marie Pelton of Conshohocken created the sculpture for the 9th straight year.
The American Dairy Association & Dairy Council, Inc. is the local planning and management organization funded by dairy farmer checkoff dollars. We work closely with Dairy Management Inc.™ and are responsible for increasing demand for U.S.-produced dairy products on behalf of New York, northern New Jersey, and northeastern Pennsylvania area dairy farmers.
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