NTF Presents President with National Thanksgiving Turkey
With a ceremonial wave of the hand, President Barack Obama “pardoned” the National Thanksgiving Turkey presented by National Turkey Federation (NTF) chairman Richard Huisinga during the 64th annual White House ceremony.
Huisinga, along with his wife, Randi, and children, Brianna, Aaron and Austin, presented President Obama with “Liberty,” a 19-week old, 45-pound tom, and alternate, “Peace,” whose names were chosen from more than 100 submissions to the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association’s website that highlighted the National Thanksgiving Turkey.
Calling Thanksgiving “one of the best days of the year to be an American,” and “a day to count our blessings, spend time with the ones we love, and enjoy some good food and some great company,” Obama thanked the Huisinga family for donating this year’s turkey from their farm in Willmar, Minn.
“Raising the National Thanksgiving Turkey is an honor and a privilege,” said Huisinga, president and COO of Willmar Poultry Co.
The night before the presentation, “Liberty” and “Peace” stayed in a room at the W Hotel. After the pardoning, they were driven to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate Museum and Gardens, where the National Thanksgiving Turkeys will be on display for visitors through Jan. 6.
After the holidays, Liberty and Peace will live in a custom-made enclosure at Mount Vernon’s nationally recognized livestock facility.
Jaindl’s Turkey Farm in Orefield, Pa., also gave President Obama’s family two dressed turkeys that will be donated to the Capital Area Food Bank.