Bonnie the Pig need never fear the breakfast table.
The two-and-a-half-month-old purebred Berkshire gilt received an official pardon Friday from Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, sparing her the threat of ever ending up slathered in gravy on a biscuit or wrapped around a cocktail weenie.
The gubernatorial intervention was part of the lead-up to the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival, a daylong celebration of the deliciousness of Bonnie’s kin.
“Now, therefore, I, Terry E. Branstad, governor of the state of Iowa, do hereby proudly proclaim Bonnie the Pig free from the sizzle of the frying pan for this year’s Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival,” Branstad said authoritatively from the front steps of Terrace Hill.
Bonnie let out a squeal — presumably of relief — as he read the proclamation, drawing a big laugh from what must have been an intimidating crowd of humans preparing for a day-long celebration of bacon preparation and consumption.
Among them were a group of Icelandic bacon enthusiasts in matching sweaters and the owners of a Denver bacon-making outfit, who were delivering to Branstad a gift of cured pork from Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Bonnie was selected from among several pigs in a pen at a farm in State Center on Friday morning — primarily because she was the easiest to catch, said farm owner Randy Hilleman.
She returned to the farm on Friday afternoon with immunity.
“She’s going to go out in the green pastures of Marshall County and live out the rest of her life,” Hilleman said.