Eight hundred pounds of butter have been on display for 18 days. Now, volunteers from Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners are helping it serve another purpose.
“From an environment perspective, dairy farmers are the original environmentalists,” said Chris Noble, vice president of Noblehurst Farms. “We want to make sure we are using as many resources as we can, between making the milk, but also relying on whatever is left over to create energy and power the whole process.”
The butter, which was provided by a dairy farm in Batavia, is going 15 miles down the road to another dairy farm. Noblehurst Farms will turn it into electricity.
“It’s awesome. We did some calculations this year, and we believe that the 800 pounds of butter is going to power our farm and the effective equivalent of three homes in our community for an entire day. It’s really being put to good use this year,” said Noble.
For six years, Noblehurst Farms has used the New York State Fair butter sculpture as a source for biofuel. They combine it with food scraps from grocery stores and put it through a digester that breaks it down and creates energy.
“It really brings it full circle if the dairy farmers themselves are recycling the butter sculpture into the process to create more milk,” said Noble.
It’s a cycle that keeps butter on the shelves and the New York dairy industry busy.