COMPANION SCULPTURES BY YEAR
- 1996 — Grant Wood’s famous “American Gothic” (honoring Iowa’s Sesquicentennial)
- 1997 — Elvis Presley
- 1998 — An American eagle
- 1999 — Duffy’s own version of Leonardo DaVinci’s “The Last Supper”
- 2000 — Christian Peterson sculpting “The Gentle Doctor” statue (Petersen was Duffy’s mentor and teacher).
- 2001— John Wayne
- 2002 — The Peanuts Gang
- 2003 — A Harley-Davidson motorcycle (in honor of the company’s 100th anniversary)
- 2004 — A birthday cake in honor of the Fair’s Sesquicentennial and an Iowa barn
- 2005 — Tiger Woods
- 2006 — “Mr. State Fair” Bill Riley (in honor of his 60th Fair) and Superman (Norwalk, Iowa, native Brandon Routh)
- 2007 — Harry Potter
- 2008 — Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson and a tribute to four Iowans who changed the face of the world’s agriculture: Etta May Budd, George Washington Carver, Henry Wallace and Norman Borlaug
- 2009 — A tribute to the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon
- 2010 —Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham (in honor of its 50th anniversary)
- 2011 — A replica of the 1911 butter cow sculptures, including a calf, young boy and chicken. A sculpture of a young girl with a butterfly was added as a tribute to Norma “Duffy” Lyon.
- 2012 — Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Disney film)
- 2013 — A tribute to the Historic Lincoln Highway (and President Lincoln)
- 2014 — A celebration of the 25th anniversary of Field of Dreams
- 2015 — A celebration of the 80th anniversary of Monopoly
- 2016 — A celebration of the 50th anniversary of Star Trek
- 2017 — A celebration of the 150th birthday of Laura Ingalls Wilder and a replica of the Solheim Cup as the tournament visited Des Moines.
- 2018 — A celebration of the 100th anniversary of John Deere entering the tractor business with a replica of the Waterloo Boy Tractor.
- 2019 — A celebration of 50 years of Sesame Street.
- 2021 — A celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Giant Slide.
- 2022 — A celebration of the 60th year of The Music Man in film history
- 2023 — Celebrating iconic Iowa athletes - Jack Trice, Kurt Warner and Caitlin Clark
Nothing Could Be 'Butter' in 2023 Than Iconic Iowa Athletes
The iconic Iowa State Fair butter cow will have some very important Iowa athletes to share the cooler with this year. Long time Iowa State Fair butter sculptor Sarah Pratt, along with her apprentices Hannah and Grace, will meticulously sculpt the likenesses of Jack Trice, Kurt Warner and Caitlin Clark. There are so many great Iowa athletes but we were only able to pick three, one from each of Iowa's public universities.
Jack Trice was Iowa State’s first African American athlete and 2023 commemorates his untimely death during a football game in 1923. His life and legacy have been an inspiration and 100-year commemoration programs include “I Will” Action Grants, a University museum exhibition and the creation of Jack Trice Way as a part his namesake stadium on the Iowa State University campus. His likeness in butter will be a testament to his impact on not only Iowa State but on college athletics across the country. The first Iowa State Fair butter cow was sculpted just 12 years before Jack Trice played football and ran track for Iowa State.
Kurt Warner is the only person to be inducted into both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Arena Hall of Fame. Warner graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1993 and was named the Gateway Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year. Like many in Iowa, he spent some time working for local grocer Hy-Vee before going to play for the Iowa Barnstormers, the Amsterdam Admirals and then the St. Louis Rams, the New York Giants and the Arizona Cardinals. An impressive resume with 208 passing touchdowns, 4 pro bowls and 12 seasons, Warner’s likeness in butter is the perfect testament to his calm, cool and collected demeanor.
Caitlin Clark, University of Iowa women’s basketball standout player, has added countless accolades and awards to her points and assists records, but nothing is more iconic of her impact as an Iowan than being recognized with a likeness in butter at the Iowa State Fair. Clark, a senior from West Des Moines, attended Dowling Catholic High School. She is the first player in Division 1 women’s basketball history to record more than 1,000 points and 300 assists in the same season. In 2023, Caitlin was named consensus National Player of the Year, Academic All American and Collegiate Female Athlete of the Year.