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      When Pigs Fly

      Sixteen-year-old Alesha Gustafson has been a member of the â??When Pigs Flyâ?? 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.

      â??I was really disappointed because I had put a lot of time into that pig and worked with it a lot,â?? said Gustafson.

      She was wrong. With the help of Gary Johnson from Johnson Brotherâ??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.

      Elmerâ??s County Market was thrilled to be a part of this special sale.

      â??Itâ??s just exciting to help put that together,â?? said Elmerâ??s County Market president and co-owner Mike Dagenais. â??When I heard Gary say it was at $52 a pound I couldnâ??t believe it. And, I got to make the $50 a pound bid and so, I had goose bumps.â??

      The pig sold for $52 per pound, totaling over $13,000.

      â??When I heard the price keep rising I just started bawling because I couldnâ??t believe how much my pig was going for because usually no one ever gets that much money,â?? 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

      Elmer's- Escanaba

      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