As a part of the national Thanksgiving turkey presentation at the White House next week, President Obama will pardon two Minnesota turkeys. Steve Olson, executive director of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, says Rick Huisinga, with the Willmar Poultry Company, raised the two birds that will be pardoned by Obama. He said Huizenga has the honor of raising the birds because he is the president of the National Turkey Federation.
“It’s very special, especially for the grower, to take a Minnesota turkey to Washington D.C,” Olson said.
Why two turkeys? Olson said they send two in case one of them is injured or gets sick during the trip.
He said Huisinga identified roughly 35 birds that hatched in July. Huisinga and others then raised the birds separately. He said they started preparing the group of birds for the trip and next week’s press conference.
“Some Future Farmers of America members worked with the birds to be used to noises and flashes as well as being picked up because we want to make sure the birds are comfortable when they get to the White House,” Olson said.
The two birds will receive a Minnesota sendoff before they depart for the White House. Gov. Dayton, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and others will host a Friday news conference to honor the birds and recognize the Minnesota Turkey Growers’ annual donation to Hunger Solutions.
Minnesota is the number one producer of turkeys in the country (and that’s not a joke about politicians).
You can read more about the Turkeys here.