It’s official! Minnesota turkey farmer John Burkel – the current chairman of the National Turkey Federation – has been officially invited to bring two turkeys to the White House later this month for the National Thanksgiving Turkey pardoning ceremony with President Obama!
John will be the 12th Minnesotan to represent the turkey industry at this time-honored tradition. (Read more National Thanksgiving Turkey history here.)
That also means we need to start thinking of some creative names for the National Thanksgiving Turkey and his alternate. We need your help! Submit your ideas by November 10 using this online form – we will pick several of the top choices and run a little popularity contest on Facebook to come up with a few options to give to the Obama family, which will ultimately pick the names.
And if you’re stumped, we’ve included a list of the names that have been chosen since 1999 – check it out here!
In the meantime, here are the latest photos taken of John’s Presidential flock. As you can see, a special banner with an image of the White House has been put in their barn so the birds can preen and pretend they’re getting their photos taken by the paparazzi!
This is Alex, one of John and his wife Joni’s five kids. Here, he is cleaning out the “waterer” where the birds have access to fresh water all the time. He’s using a solution of iodine to clean it – that’s why the water looks brown right now. The iodine gets rid of all the bacteria that could make the birds sick.
Here’s a look at several of the birds – they are all tom turkeys (or males).
Looking very regal, wouldn’t you say?