It takes a Village to raise a Pig
I mean that literally, especially when you’re a city boy like me. This Sunday we’ll make our annual trek to Mike Fretheim’s place to pick out our three little pigs, which will in no time flat become full fledged 250-pound hogs.
The pigs are part of my daughter’s 4-H projects and we are doing this for the third year in a row now. You’d think we’d be experienced at this by now, but I still shake with fear over the idea of poking one of these animals with a needle.
The pigs are arriving early this year and I think it’s partly because Toole County Extension agent Jeanne Olmstead is leaving the area and she’s invaluable to 4-Her’s getting their first shots (the pigs not the kids). Andshe also handles so much more, like the carcass tours and education programs later on.
Also, among the Village People are Deb and Loren Skartvedt who help us give the pigs there mid-term shots and also helped us haul the spare pig to market last year. The spare pig is the one we get just in case one of the other two don’t make it for some reason. It’s also the one, whose meat we sell to try and recover some of the costs. Anyone want first dibs.
How about the Wanken’s Troy and Lou Ellen who let us house the pigs in their pen and even feed them for us when we get into a pinch. For the past 3 years, Tom Welker has hauled our pigs from Fretheim’s to the pen and then from the pen to the fair. This is something a city boy should not try at home by himself.
By the time the fair arrives, the Village really comes together and all those small business people come together and buy our pigs. Their support still leaves my jaw dropped in disbelief. Oh yeah, don’t forget the people at Mountain View Co-op in the Village of Conrad who allow us to obtain feed for four full months but don’t make us pay until the pigs are sold.
I am so thankful for the Village people……..I hope I didn’t leave anyone out.