Turkeys visit the White House in honor of Thanksgiving

Two live turkeys visited the White House Monday in celebration of the role the turkey industry plays in Thanksgiving meals.

The National Turkey Federation estimates more than 40 million turkeys will be consumed over the Thanksgiving holiday this year. Beth Breeding, Vice President of Communications and Marketing with NTF tells Brownfield, “We call Thanksgiving our Super Bowl. Turkey is on the menu throughout the year but it is the star on Thanksgiving.”

But, she says a couple of turkeys from North Carolina will not be part of that group as they received a formal pardon from the holiday table by President Joe Biden during the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation Monday.

“Chocolate and Chip are two very lucky turkeys. While in DC they stayed at the historic Willard InterContinental Hotel and had their own room. I heard they jumped on the bed and may have ordered room service. Then, they did go over to the White House where they met the President.”

“Chocolate” and “Chip” at the Willard InterContinental Hotel. Photos provided by NTF

This is the 75th anniversary of the presentation, which highlights the role of turkey producers and American agriculture in feeding families around the world.

“In 1947, with President Harry Truman, we wanted to highlight the importance of Turkey and make sure no other protein overtook the Thanksgiving table. We are excited to continue this tradition this year and for another 75 years.”

The National Thanksgiving Day turkeys were raised by 2022 NTF Chairman Ronnie Parker and now reside at North Carolina State University’s Talley Turkey Education Unit, one of six poultry science programs in the US.

National Turkey Federation Chairman Ronnie Parker. Photo by NTF
Interview with Beth Breeding