WASHINGTON, DC. – The National Turkey Federation (NTF) celebrated the 75th year of the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation during which President Joe Biden granted a formal pardon to turkeys “Chocolate” and “Chip.” The two birds will bypass the dinner table to live out their days at the Talley Turkey Education Unit at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.
Chocolate and Chip were raised in Monroe, NC, by Ronnie Parker, NTF chairman, a 44-year veteran of the turkey industry and general manager of Circle S Ranch.
“When I started my career in the turkey industry 44 years ago, I never dreamed that I would have the opportunity to present the National Thanksgiving Turkey at the White House,” Parker said. “I want to thank President Biden for welcoming the National Turkey Federation and my family to the White House. Chocolate and Chip had a pretty remarkable day for two turkeys from North Carolina. While this event is a fun tradition that has spanned 75 years, it is also an important reminder of the importance of American turkey producers and agriculture in delivering food to the table. It’s an honor to represent these hardworking men and women.”
While in Washington, Chocolate and Chip stayed at the historic Willard InterContinental. Now that they are free birds, the two turkeys will be under the experienced care of veterinarians, faculty and students within the Prestage Department of Poultry Science at NC State University.
NTF has participated in the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation since 1947 with President Harry Truman. The tradition has continued for 75 years across 14 successive administrations.