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By Ginny Tonkin staff blogger
Ginny Tonkin loves traveling off the beaten path, learning about new cultures through food, and everything outdoors. She recently spent eight months teaching English in Vietnam, and loves swapping travel stories.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-464-5589


Posts tagged "cochranton"
Posted: December 21st, 2011
Retired Pittsburgh police officers Regina and David Allman now run the non-profit Hog Heaven Rescue Farm in Cochranton.

Retired Pittsburgh police officers Regina and David Allman now run the non-profit Hog Heaven Rescue Farm in Cochranton.

Regina Allman has recently received a new four-legged friend. He sleeps inside, is housebroken, but there’s a problem. He’s a pig.

“He doesn’t know he’s a pig,” she said, “but he’s pretty impressive for an indoor pig.” Allman founded and runs the non-profit Hog Heaven Rescue Farm in Cochranton with her husband David.

Hog Heaven is not just for pigs; this farm “rescues, rehabilitates, and fosters” seized or surrendered hoofed animals, like pigs, goats, cows, horses—occasionally even alpacas—eventually sending them to permanent homes.

The title “Hog Heaven” actually reflects three various parts of her life.

First, as a police officer in Pittsburgh, she and the rest of the force were referred to as “pigs.”

“We were told to take it as ‘pride, intelligence, guts.’”

The second “hog” refers to Harleys, “I was the first female rider in Pittsburgh.”

Lastly, “I’m actually blessed and living my dream, I’m in ‘Hog Heaven,’” she said of running the non-profit farm.

“Animals are very forgiving. You can take them from the doorstep of death and teach them kindness and trust.”

She emphasizes the difficulties for unwanted animals that are not cats or dogs. “The pot-bellied pig was the throw away pet of 90’s,” said Allman, who has 47 rescued pigs on her 108 acre farm.

“There are so many shelters for dogs and cats,” said Allman, who says hoofed animals and their needs are often ignored when they need to be properly rescued.

Allman tells a story of a pig brought to a shelter getting dropped into a cage with seven other large dogs.

“Pig are prey animals; being around dogs and cats is very stressful.”

Looking for a unique gift? This year, the farm restarted a sponsorship program; people can gift sponsorships of an animal to friends and family a certain dollar amount per month. Hog Heaven will send a certificate, photograph of the animal, and newsletter to the new sponsor.

Allman says she hears from people all over eastern America wanting her to take their pigs, including Vermont, New Jersey, and Kentucky. “We get most of our calls from Pittsburgh,” she said.

Unable to sponsor or adopt? Hog Heaven is always looking for volunteers.

“We assign chores to people’s ability,” she said.

Assignments can be as varied as scrapbooking, folding newsletters, cleaning out the barn, and feeding the animals.

Interested? Contact Regina Allman at 814-425-1850, or

Find Hog Heaven online at

Submit your news, photos, and events to, and follow us on Twitter: @GoCrawfordCTY.

Find this article in the December 30 print issue of 

Posted in: Crawford County
Posted: August 4th, 2011
A four-year-old handler and her calf at the Cochranton Community Fair. Check out the photo album for more pictures!

A four-year-old handler and her calf at the Cochranton Community Fair. Check out the photo album for more pictures!

From August 1-6, the Cochranton community rallies together to celebrate the Cochranton Community Fair. Live entertainment’s every night, and also features tractor pulls, a pet parade, and even a people pull.

Throughout the week, show hands exhibit animals from horses and cows to rabbits and poultry. Check out photos from the Fair and the Cattle Show on Wednesday.

Unfortunately, the arena was too muddy for showing, so organizers formed a makeshift one just outside the ring.

Check out’s homepage for video: Heather Morrell and Lisa Wright ready their cows for the show, while Skylar Morrell says why she likes showing her calf.

“Cochranton Fair is a good opportunity for the young showers, because it’s so small,” said Nicole Morrell, who was watching her daughter show. “It’s good practice before the Crawford County Fair.”

Wednesday’s “Life is but a Dream” parade kicked off at 6:30 in the evening, but by mid-morning, folks had already set up camp, lining chairs along the main route.

I was sad to have missed the parade, an event I’m told is the tops for Cochranton. Did you take pictures at the parade? We’d LOVE to see them! Submit them to our community album, just click on “submit a picture.”

Junk Fries. Delicious. Nutritious? Wouldn't bet on it. Have you tried them?

Junk Fries. Delicious. Nutritious? Wouldn't bet on it. Have you tried them?

I also had my first experience with “Junk Fries” at the Fair. Walking past me, someone carried a paper boat that caught my eye. I couldn’t decide if I was seeing an edible heart attack or my next mouthwatering lunch snack.

Guess? I had to ask him where he got them. Loaded with cheese, onions, ranch, olives, tomatoes, and meat, these “Junk Fries” have it all. A vegetarian, I opted for a meatless boat of fries, and added plenty of ketchup, salt, and pepper.

Fairs offer a unique kind of food fare that you would never consider eating anywhere else, let alone get anywhere else. I’ve seen deep fried cookie dough, doughnuts, candy bars, and I’ve even heard you can get deep fried butter at the Indiana State Fair. What’s the strangest fair food you’ve tried?

Fireworks on Saturday night will make a great way to end the fair. What’s your favorite part of a community fair?

My next stop is Thunder in the City on Saturday in Meadville. Come see classic cars and motorcycles of all kinds parade around, hear some music, and check out the open vendors in downtown Meadville.

Want to get word out in the community? It takes less than five minutes. On, just click on “submit an article.” This is your community, and is a tool to let your voice be heard. Let me know if you have any questions, or need any help submitting your material.

Stay up to date with Community Connection by following me on Twitter @GinnyTonkin.

Posted in: Crawford County
Posted: August 2nd, 2011

This week is the Cochranton Fair–complete with performances, a pageant, and plenty of livestock exhibitions. The fair started yesterday and will continue into the weekend, ending with a performance by Double Take and fireworks.

I haven’t gotten to get down yet to the fair; has anyone been yet? What is your favorite part; do you have any “can’t miss events?”

Comment below, or send me a tweet @GinnyTonkin.

More more information, check out this Erie Times-News article about the fair.


Posted in: Crawford County

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