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Mascots Swoop of the Philadelphia Eagles, Steely McBeam of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Gritty of the Philadelphia Flyers gesture around a spread of dairy products in the 2020 Pennsylvania Farm Show butter sculpture.

There will be no butter sculpture at the Pennsylvania Farm Show after all.

In a Dec. 8 statement, Ag Secretary Russell Redding cited the rise in COVID-19 cases in the state and said the Ag Department could not afford to risk the health of the sculptors, staff and video technicians who would have worked around the sculpture.

The butter sculpture is a popular fixture at the Farm Show. It often celebrates some facet of Pennsylvania agriculture or culture. The Ag Department announced in October that a butter sculpture would be created this year, even though the Farm Show itself will be held virtually.

American Dairy Association North East, the butter sculpture sponsor, will look for other opportunities to promote dairy during the 2021 Farm Show and plans to bring back the artwork in 2022, according to Rick Naczi, the group's CEO.

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