Welcome to the blog of the anticipated 2011 Presidential Turkey! Right now, a special flock of turkeys is being raised with care by a handful of Minnesota high school students, in hopes that one of the turkeys will be invited to make a special journey to the White House in November to be presented as the National Thanksgiving Turkey to President Obama this year. Throughout the next two months, the students raising these stately birds will be sharing their story right here in this blog.
But before we introduce you to these students, let’s talk a little history.
In 1947, during President Truman’s administration, an official ceremony was held to present the president with a turkey. Each year since then the National Turkey Federation has been invited to participate in this ceremony by raising and presenting the National Thanksgiving Turkey to the president. Early Presidential turkeys were destined for a dinner plate until President George H.W. Bush began the official tradition of pardoning the turkey in 1989. With any luck, the Minnesota Turkey this year will serve his duty at the White House and then be brought (along with his lucky alternate!) to Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, to live out the rest of his life.
Now, back to our turkey farming apprentices!
These four students from Willmar, Minnesota are members of their high school’s FFA chapter (formerly known as Future Farmers of America), and are charged with the important task of caring for National Thanksgiving Turkey flock. Though none of them have direct experience raising turkeys, they are all excited to learn precisely what these birds need to thrive. Through this blog the students hope to bring you along with them on this journey, so you too can learn more about raising and caring for these animals! Please check back in the coming days and weeks for information and updates from our turkey farmers in training!