Cheese Tells the Dairy Story at State Fair

Sarah Kaufmann, The Cheese Lady

The dairy message has been delivered to Hoosiers in many different ways during the Year of Dairy Cows at the State Fair.  But one of the more effective ways has been through cheese art. This is the 7th year that Sarah Kaufmann, an Ohio cheese artist, has been to the Indiana State Fair carving cheese. This year, however, she said her portrait was extra special, “Because of the theme of the fair, I got to put dairy cows in my sculpture.”  Buttercup, the official mascot of the American Dairy Association of Indiana, is in the center of the display on a cheese throne with a cheese crown.  Her court consist of all the dairy breeds and dairy products.  Kaufmann said this project was her most ambitious to date, taking over 100 hours just to design.


As fairgoers watched, she transformed three 640 lb blocks of Indiana cheddar cheese into a eye-catching piece of art. Kaufmann told HAT that this year she incorporated color into her sculpture, “I wanted to get some of the rich browns and reds of the different dairy breeds into the piece, and then I decided to have some fun and put several different colors into the display.” She said it took several all night sessions to finish sculpture on time.


The purpose of this project, sponsored by Indiana Dairy Farmers, is to tell the story of dairy products. Kaufmann says it does that very well, “Lots of people come and watch me work and ask questions about dairy products. This gives me a chance to explain the facts about dairy products.” She said people stay and listen to what she has to say because they are fascinated by watching her work.  The 2,000 lb sculpture will remain on display in the DuPont Food Pavilion until the end of the fair.

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