RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) — The National Thanksgiving Turkey, and his “wingman,” will be presented to President Joseph R. Biden Jr. at the White House on Nov. 21.
After the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation, a 75-year tradition at the White House, the turkeys will be transported to Raleigh and placed in the care of North Carolina State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS).
Two climate-controlled pens have been constructed for each bird. In the future, a special biosecure coop will make it possible for the birds to be transported to events like the North Carolina State Fair without risk of disease or infection.
This is NC State’s first time serving as the home of the National Thanksgiving Turkey. The Turkey Presentation tradition began 75 years ago when President Harry Truman was presented by the National Turkey Federation with the first National Thanksgiving Turkey.
“We’re honored and excited for the opportunity to care for the National Thanksgiving Turkey and his ‘wingman,’” said Peter Ferket, interim head of the Prestage Department of Poultry Science in CALS. “We’ve prepared a first-class retirement home for our fine-feathered friends to live out their days in fame and comfort.“
Ferket is working alongside NC State Turkey Specialist Jesse Grimes to care for the turkeys.
“The most important part of this whole partnership is the education component,” said Grimes. “These turkeys will help us educate students and inform the public about modern farming practices, North Carolina agriculture and the importance of the poultry industry.”