Sixteen-year-old Alesha Gustafson has been a member of the ??When Pigs Fly?? 4-H Club for nearly half her life. Each year she sells a hog at the fair, but this year was different.
Alesha had to have an emergency surgery, removing a portion of her intestines, causing her to miss the majority of the fair. She thought this would disqualify her from selling her pig.
??I was really disappointed because I had put a lot of time into that pig and worked with it a lot,?? said Gustafson.
She was wrong. With the help of Gary Johnson from Johnson Brother??s Livestock, State Representative Ed McBroom and the U.P. State Fair Advisory Committee, she was able to sell her pig.
Fifty-two businesses supported Alesha, each paying one dollar per pound for her 261 pound pig.
Elmer??s County Market was thrilled to be a part of this special sale.
??It??s just exciting to help put that together,?? said Elmer??s County Market president and co-owner Mike Dagenais. ??When I heard Gary say it was at $52 a pound I couldn??t believe it. And, I got to make the $50 a pound bid and so, I had goose bumps.??
The pig sold for $52 per pound, totaling over $13,000.
??When I heard the price keep rising I just started bawling because I couldn??t believe how much my pig was going for because usually no one ever gets that much money,?? Gustafson said.
She said she feels blessed for all the support and plans on saving her money for college.
The 52 contributing parties are:
AM Express- Escanaba
Anderson Tackman/ Besse Forest Products- Escanaba
Beaver Machine- Coleman,WI
Bloniarz Equiptment- Perronville
Brock Farms- Menominee
Burnt Land Farms- Pickford
Carpet & Drapery Shop- Escanaba
Chenier's Greenhouse- Flatrock, MI
Chuck Kewley- Daggett, MI
Clare Livestock- Clare, MI
DeBacker Farm & Dairy- Daggett
Dennis Rye Milk Transit- Wallace
Equity Livestock- Bonduel, WI
First Bank/ Dagenais Enterprises- Escanaba
Foster Law Firm- Marquette
Garceau Insurance- Escanaba
Granquist Dairy- Powers
Hanson's Potato & Seed Farm- Cornell
In Memory of Felix & Lloyd Johnson- Escanaba
Johnson Brother's Livestock- Escanaba
Johnson Farms- Wallace
Ken Gartland- Escanaba
Lakeview Assisted Living- Gladstone
Lauren Family Farms- Gwinn
Lippen's Potato Farm- Bark River
Love Meats- Rudyard
M&A Farm and Fur- Carney
Maple wood Meats- Green Bay, WI
Martin Curstom Harvesting- Wallace
Mel's Lawn & Garden- Escanaba
Moker Livestock- Wallace
Northern Machine- Escanaba
Northern Michigan Liverstock- Gaylord, MI
Northgate Equiptment & Sales- Escanaba
Pomps Tire- Escanaba
Rainbow Packing- Escanaba
Rays Feed Mill- Bark River
Riesterer & Schnell- Pound, WI
S&M Livestock- Wallace
State Bank- Escanaba
Stenberg Brothers- Bark River
Super One- Escanaba
Syl's Cafe- Ontanogan
Triangle Restaurant- McMillan
United Producers- St. Louis, MI
UP Ophthalmology- Escanaba
U.P. Vet- Stephenson
Viau's Market- Escanaba
Wangerin Logging- Stephenson
Wayland Livestock- Wayland, MI
Wells Lions Club- Escanaba