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Who stole the cheese at the 2015 Indiana State Fair?

Who stole the cheese at the 2015 Indiana State Fair?
No one stole it, the giant cheese sculpture moved to a new barn at the Indiana State Fair this year.

For many years if you visited Our Land Pavilion next to the Indiana State Fair Administration Building, you could find Purdue University Extension. Purdue Extension moved to the Horticulture Building, and a Purdue banner was draped across the building.

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Pure cheese: The exhibit isn't edible after the fair, but it will be used to make biogas.

That wasn't the only change. Fairgoers wanted to know what happened to the giant cheese sculpture. For years a sculptor has worked during the first few days to carve a scene out of a giant block of cheese. It's a promotion for Indiana dairy farmers. The Iowa State Fair has its giant butter sculpture of a cow, and Indiana has a giant cheese sculpture of a farm scene. Or it did.

The joke amongst fairgoers became "Who stole my cheese?"

As it turns out, the sculpture wasn't stolen, it just moved to the Horticulture Building with Purdue. Its 1,500 pounds were located on the south side inside the Horticulture Building.

The display depicting a dairy farm family and the products they produce was made from 1,280 pounds of yellow cheddar cheese, 160 pounds of white cheddar cheese and 10 pounds of pepper jack cheese. It took 14,500 pounds of milk to make the cheese which was turned into the sculpture. 

If you are good at math you will notice that means it takes 10 pounds of milk to make one pound of cheese. Milk weighs 8.5 pounds per gallon, so it takes just under five quarts of milk to make a pound of cheese. That would be a lot of gallon milk jugs piled up to represent how much milk it took to make the 1,450 pounds of cheese in the sculpture.

Related: Indiana State Fair: 1990 vs. 2015

Officials say it takes a full year to plan the sculpture for the next fair. The first part, underway right now, is coming up with a unique idea for next year's sculpture.

Do you have an idea? Send it to tbechman@farmprogress.com, and we will see that it gets tossed in the hopper by the people who decide on the theme and shape of the exhibit.

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