The 2016 “Cow Lympics” Butter Cow

Every year the Dairy Council of Utah/Nevada sponsors a butter cow sculpture made out of 700 pounds of butter. This 3D life-size work of art is showcased at the Utah State Fair’s “Creative Arts” Building. The butter cow continues to draw crowds and has been a tradition since 1998.

Butter Cow Design Contest

In an effort to involve the local community, the Dairy Council of Utah/Nevada launched a Butter Cow Design Contest in 2011 for students. The winning design, voted on by the public, becomes the inspiration for sculptors, Debbie Brown and Matt McNaughton. This year’s design theme was “How Do You Fuel Greatness?”  Various drawings where submitted from students across the state representing activities they personally do to “Fuel Greatness”.

Owen 2016 Winner

Owen, the 2016 butter cow winner.

The 2016 Winning Design

This years, ”Gold Medal Cow Lympics” was inspired by Owen from Park Elementary School. Owen represented all the many ways he fuels greatness by creatively compiling them into one drawing. He drew a skateboarding, basketball-playing, hula-hooping cow about to slide off a ramp into a slam dunk. Owen said, “The first thing that came to me was what do I like to do, so I just put it all together into one big thing.”


Debbie and Matt

Butter Sculptors Debbie Brown and Matt McNaughtan.

The Butter Sculptors

Sculptor artists, Debbie Brown and Matt McNaughton took Owen’s winning design and created a butter cow masterpiece. This year they added some fun Pokemon characters and incorporated an exciting Olympic theme. They spent nearly five days molding, carving and shaping more than 700 pounds of sweet cream butter into this unique butter cow.

•Debbie Brown has a degree in art and design from BYU. She has helped create the butter sculptures since 1998. Most of her sculpting has been in stone and clay. She and her husband live in Muray. They have seven children and seven grandchildren.

•Matt McNaughtan is a pottery and art teacher at Wasatch High School. Each year he brings his students to learn and help sculpt the butter cow. A ceramic sculptor by trade, Matt says butter sculpting is second nature to him. He and his wife reside in Heber with their four children.

Check out past years butter sculptures in our Archive of Past Sculptures!


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