Minn. turkeys await their presidential pardoning
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WASHINGTON Nov. 23- A lucky pair of Minnesota-bred turkeys will be spared the fate of their counterparts today when President Obama hosts the 64th anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation.
President Obama will pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey in a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, reflect upon the time-honored traditions of Thanksgiving and wish American families a warm, safe, and healthy holiday.
Liberty and its alternate Peace are both 19-week old, 45-pound turkeys raised in Willmar, Minnesota under the supervision of National Turkey Federation Chairman Richard Huisinga.
After the pardoning, the turkeys will be driven to George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, where Liberty will be on display for visitors during “Christmas at Mount Vernon,” a special program through January 6. After the holidays, the National Thanksgiving Turkey and its alternate will live in a custom-made enclosure at Mount Vernon's nationally recognized livestock facility.
The names of the turkeys were chosen from over 100 submissions to the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association's web site that highlighted the National Thanksgiving Turkey. Many of the submissions came from Minneapolis and St. Paul school children who learned this year about the importance of agriculture to the world food supply and to our local economies.
The National Thanksgiving Turkey completed its first ceremony in Minnesota on Friday. Governor Dayton pardoned Ted the Turkey before it retires today as Liberty in Washington, DC.
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