President Trump pardons his first turkey
Nov. 22, 2017
by MEAT+POULTRY Staff
President Trump and his family participated in the annual tradition of pardoning the National Thanksgiving Turkey Tuesday.
WASHINGTON – The National Turkey Federation (NTF) presented “Drumstick,” the National Thanksgiving Turkey, to President Donald J. Trump to be pardoned during the annual ceremony at the White House Nov. 21. The turkey pardoning tradition dates back to 1947.
“Drumstick” and alternate turkey “Wishbone” were raised by 4-H members from Douglas County, Minnesota. School children suggested the names of the birds through the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association. The two turkeys stayed at the Willard InterContinental, adjacent to the White House grounds, while in Washington, D.C.
“As we gather together with our families on Thanksgiving and give thanks for our many blessings, we are reminded of the national family to which we all belong as citizens of this incredible country,”
President Trump said. “This Thursday, as we give thanks for our cherished loved ones, let us also renew our bonds of trust, loyalty and affection between our fellow citizens as members of a proud national family of Americans.”
“It is an honor to be invited to the White House, to meet President Trump, and to be a part of the National Turkey Federation’s 70-year tradition of this presentation to the President,” said Carl Wittenburg, chairman of NTF, president and founder of Protein Alliance Inc. and second-generation turkey farmer from Wyndmere, North Dakota. “It’s in that spirit, at the time of Thanksgiving that we reflect on our nation’s many blessings and celebrate the opening of the holiday season.”
The permanent home for the turkeys will be “Gobbler’s Rest,” in a custom-built enclosure inside the Poultry Science Department’s Livestock Judging Pavilion on the campus of Virginia Tech Univ. in Blacksburg.