HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Sarah Pratt involves her family throughout the butter sculpting process and this year was no different. With the help of her 10-year-old son Dean's research, Pratt decided to sculpt Kansas legend Amelia Earhart for the 2023 Kansas State Fair Butter Sculpture.
"He made me a little note that said you should sculpt Amelia Earhart and then wrote next to it, to the stars through their difficulty," said Pratt. "And he was like, mom this is perfect. Their state motto perfectly fits Amelia Earhart and he was right."
Kansans likely know Amelia Earhart as a native of Atchison, Kansas who was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Pratt said she learned through her own research that Earhart was so much more than just that.
"She was also a community advocate for people who were in need, people who were sick and people who maybe didn't have the opportunities she did and so it showed me this entirely different side to her," Pratt said. "I hope that people see that and maybe, you know, learn a little bit more about her and certainly take pride in the fact that she claims Kansas as her home."
Pratt has been the lead butter sculptor at the Kansas and Illinois State Fair since 2016. She's been the lead sculptor in her home state of Iowa since 2006. Pratt took over after her mentor Norma Duffy Lyon retired from sculpting.
"One of the things I love about butter sculpting is that I get to do it with my family," Pratt said. Depending on the different fairs we are visiting, my husband will travel with me, my daughter Grace has traveled out of state with me and then here in Iowa my twin daughters Hannah and Grace are my two apprentices, so it's a huge joy to do it together as a family."
The butter sculpture is sponsored by Southwest Dairy Farmers and is on display in the Pride of Kansas building. Every other year, a dairy cow butter sculpture is sculpted to represent the dairy industry.
More information about butter sculpting is available next to the sculpture display or by going to kansasstatefair.com