Watch: President Trump pardons National Thanksgiving Turkey

Posted at 7:28 PM, Nov 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-17 19:29:22-05

WASHINGTON D.C. – President Donald J. Trump pardoned two turkeys from Minnesota in honor of the annual National Thanksgiving Turkey ceremony in the Rose Garden.

This year, the President celebrated the 70th anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation, as he reflects on our Nation’s rich Thanksgiving traditions and wishes American families a safe and healthy holiday, said the Office of the Press Secretary.

This year’s turkeys are from a family farm in Alexandria, Minnesota. Carl and Sharlene Wittenburg grew up on turkey farms and now Carl serves as the National Turkey Federation Chairman. They raise about 100,000 turkeys each year.

The turkeys have been named “Drumstick” and “Wishbone.” They hatched in late June and were raised as part of a flock of about 20 turkeys all vying to be chosen to travel to Washington D.C. for the ceremony.

While there are two turkeys, and both are pardoned, technically only one is given the title of National Thanksgiving Turkey.  The other turkey will be the backup. The public can vote online for which one should be given the title.

The turkeys will join last year’s turkeys, “Tater” and “Tot,” at Virginia Tech’s “Gobblers Rest” exhibit, where students and veterinarians care for the turkeys, and the public can visit and learn about the university’s teaching, research, and outreach programs in animal and poultry sciences and veterinary medicine.

The National Turkey Federation will also bring two turkeys from Jaindl’s Turkey Farm of Orefield, Pennsylvania, for the First Family to donate. The First Family will donate the turkeys to Martha’s Table in Washington, D.C.

All of the turkeys pardoned since 2015 are still alive and all live in Virginia. “Honest” and “Abe” live at Morven Park in Leesburg while “Tater” and “Tot” are at the Virginia Tech facility where “Drumstick” and “Wishbone” will be sent.

2009 = Courage and Carolina

2010 = Apple and Cider

2011 = Liberty and Peace

2012 = Cobbler and Gobbler

2013 = Caramel and Popcorn

2014 = Mac and Cheese

2015 = Honest and Abe

2016 = Tater and Tot

2017 = Drumstick and Wishbone