Background on the Pardoning of the National Thanksgiving Turkey
WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, November 24, 2010, President Obama will pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey in a ceremony in the Rose Garden. The President will celebrate the 63rd 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 Apple and its alternate Cider, both 21-week old, 45-pound turkeys. The names of the turkeys were chosen from over 200 submissions from California school children who participated in California’s Agriculture in the Classroom program where they learned about how the National Thanksgiving Turkey was raised.
After the pardoning, the turkeys will be driven to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens. The National Thanksgiving Turkey 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.
Both birds were raised on Foster Farms Wellsford Ranch outside of Modesto, California, under the supervision of National Turkey Federation Chairman Yubert Envia. Ira Brister of Foster Farms will handle the turkey during the ceremony.
Jaindl’s Turkey Farm in Orefield, Pa., gave President Obama’s family two dressed turkeys that will be donated to Martha’s Table, a local organization that helps feed and clothe those in need.