Butter-cow naming contest moo-ves back to Ohio State Fair

COLUMBUS — For the first time in over 15 years, Ohio State Fair fans will have the chance to choose names for the 2014 iconic butter cow and calf at the Ohio State Fair. Back by popular demand, and moo-ving from tear pads to Twitter, the participant who crafts the most creative name for this year’s butter bovines will get to milk this opportunity for all its worth, sharing the spotlight with the coveted cow and calf during the sculpture unveiling.

The naming contest dates back to the early 1980s, during which fairgoers would drop hand-written names into a large wooden milk carton. Now, the challenge will take to Twitter. For a week starting Monday, July 14, names for the butter cow and calf can be submitted by using the hashtag, #ButterCowNameGame.

The American Dairy Association Mideast will invite the person with the most inventive name to the butter cow and secret sculpture unveiling on July 22 to celebrate their creation. The winner will experience VIP treatment, receiving a prize pack that includes free tickets to the fair, vouchers for free ice cream and a t-shirt from ADA Mideast.

The Ohio State Fair runs from July 23 until Aug. 3 at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus. Each year, ADA Mideast selects an icon or theme to feature in butter that is non-political, reflects optimism and has broad audience appeal. In 2013, the butter display celebrated the 50th anniversary of the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir with a butter-bust of its founder, Glenville D. Thomas, and 60 other singers to represent the thousands of youth who were members of the choir throughout the last five decades. Other past sculptures included several well-known Ohio personalities like Jack Hanna, Bobby Rahal, Jack Nicklaus, Dave Thomas and John Glenn. Many more paid tribute to the innovation, entrepreneurship and commitment of the dairy industry.

The butter display at the Ohio State Fair attracts more than 500,000 visitors each year, reflecting positive ideals and cultural trends in Ohio for over 50 years. Several of its exhibits gain national media attention with themes that have universal appeal.

The butter cow and sculpture are found in the Dairy Products Building at the Ohio Expo Center, home of the Ohio State Fair. The Dairy Products Building is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and offers a variety of dairy foods produced in Ohio, including ice cream, milkshakes, cheese sandwiches and milk. The butter sculpture display and the Dairy Products Building are sponsored by the American Dairy Association Mideast, Ohio’s dairy-farmer funded marketing and promotion program serving the state’s more than 2,800 dairy farms.

American Dairy Association Mideast is a farmer funded organization responsible for increasing demand for dairy products on behalf of dairy farmers in Ohio.

For more information, visit: www.drink-milk.com and www.ohiodairyfarmers.com