WASHINGTON – The National Turkey Federation (NTF) presented “Peas,” the National Thanksgiving Turkey to President Donald Trump to be pardoned during the annual ceremony at the White House on Nov. 21.
“Peas” and alternative turkey “Carrots” were raised by turkey grower Ruben Waldner on Hutterite Colony near Huron, South Dakota. School children and families through South Dakota Tourism and South Dakota Poultry Industry Association suggested the names.
The two turkeys stayed at the Willard InterContinental, adjacent to the White House grounds, while in Washington, D.C.
“Thanksgiving is a time of great American traditions, and today we continue a very special one – when a lucky Turkey gets a presidential pardon,” said President Trump. “In this grand tradition, I am pleased to announce that today’s lucky bird and guest of honor is Peas.”
The tradition of pardoning a turkey dates back to 1947.
“This season of thanksgiving is a special time of year for Americans, and I am honored to be invited to the White House to present the National Thanksgiving Turkey to President Trump,” said Jeff Sveen, chairman of the National Turkey Foundation and chairman of the board for Dakota Provisions. “The contributions of American farmers to our country – both in the past and today – are significant, and the National Turkey Federation’s time-honored tradition is a reminder of the hard work of generations of men and women to feed the world. May we all enter into this holiday season with a renewed sense of thankfulness.”
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, Virginia.