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Mills, Collins Pardon Shirley the Pig at the Erie County Fair | Community Spirit

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Mills, Collins Pardon Shirley the Pig at the Erie County Fair
Mills, Collins Pardon Shirley the Pig at the Erie County Fair

Erie County Legislator John J. Mills and Erie County Executive Chris Collins changed the fortunes of one lucky pig this past weekend, saving her from the dinner table and giving her a second chance at life.

Responding to a request from a local teenager and 4-H participant, Mills and Collins pardoned Shirley the pig at the Erie County Fair on Sunday, August 14, 2011. Rachael Smith, who raised the 265-pound pig from birth, recently wrote to Legislator Mills hoping he would consider buying Shirley at the 4-H Youth Market Auction at the Erie County Fair.  Legislator Mills liked the idea and contacted County Executive Chris Collins, who was also enthusiastic about the opportunity.

Mills and Collins surprised the 15 year-old Collins, NY resident by purchasing the pig for $2,385.  Mills and Collins then surprised Racheal by granting an official pardon for Shirley and then declaring the day “Racheal Smith Day” in Erie County. The County Executive and Legislator will now work with the 4-H to donate Shirley to a local children’s zoo.

“Racheal has been involved in the 4-H program for years, she worked very hard this year raising Shirley, and I am very proud of her.  4-H and the Cornell Cooperative Extension do a wonderful job with programming like this for our kids, and I’m happy to be a part of it,” said Legislator Mills.

“Agriculture is a major economic engine in Erie County and the 4-H is instrumental in teaching new generations about the importance of farming and respecting animals and the land,” said Erie County Executive Chris Collins.  “Hopefully Shirley can now be a part of Racheal’s life for years to come.”

As part of the 4-H program, students raise animals from birth and prepare them for auction.  Proceeds from the auction go toward the 4-H program and directly to the student who raised the animal. 


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