The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Background on the Pardoning of the National Thanksgiving Turkey

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, November 26, 2014, President Obama will pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey in a ceremony at the White House.  The President will celebrate the 67th anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation, reflect upon the time-honored traditions of Thanksgiving, and wish American families a warm, safe, and healthy holiday.

The President will pardon Cheese and his alternate Mac, both 20-week old, approximately 48-pound Turkeys. The names of turkeys were chosen from submissions by Ohio students and Morven Park visitors.  This year, the American public once again decided which of the two turkeys – Mac or Cheese – would become the 2014 National Thanksgiving Turkey by casting a vote for #TeamMac or #TeamCheese on Twitter.

National Turkey Federation Chairman Gary Cooper of Ft. Recovery, Ohio, his wife Cheryl, and seven members of the Cooper family will be in attendance at today’s ceremony. Cooper’s son, Cole, raised and selected the turkeys that will be presented to President Obama. Both of the birds were raised antibiotic-free.

After the pardoning, the turkeys will travel to their permanent home at Morven Park’s “Turkey Hill,” the historic turkey farm located at the home of former Virginia Governor Westmoreland Davis (1918-1922) in Leesburg, Virginia.  The National Thanksgiving Turkey and its alternate will be on display for visitors at Morven Park’s Turkey Hill.

Jaindl’s Turkey Farm in Orefield, Pennsylvania, presented the First Family with two dressed turkeys that will be donated to a local area food bank.

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