Thanksgiving Turkeys Introduced Ahead of Presidential Pardon in Washington

The National Turkey Federation introduced the two turkeys eligible to be pardoned by President Joe Biden on Sunday, November 19, in Washington, DC, the day before the White House’s annual Thanksgiving-turkey-pardoning ceremony.

The male turkeys, named Liberty and Bell, came from Willmar, Minnesota, and each weigh about 42 pounds, the federation said.

On Monday, both birds were spared the chopping block, and are scheduled to return to their home state to be cared for at the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Sciences for the rest of their lives, local media reported.

After a long history of public interest in Thanksgiving turkeys at the White House, the pardoning tradition was formalized by President George H W Bush in 1989, according to the White House. Credit: National Turkey Federation via Storyful

Video transcript

- This event certainly, for us, is an opportunity to recognize the really hard work of turkey farmers and men and women throughout animal agriculture and the turkey industry. And this is no exception.