Update: The turkeys’ names are Peanut Butter and Jelly. Here is a video of the announcement from the White House.
Two turkeys raised here in Dubois County will make an appearance at the White House this Friday to be pardoned by President Joe Biden.
The lucky turkeys chosen to take part in the 74th Presidential Turkey Pardon were raised by Andrea Welp in cooperation with Farbest Farms. She is a grower for the company.
Each year the opportunity to supply the turkeys for the pardon is given to the person serving as chair of the National Turkey Federation. This year, Phil Seger, vice president of Live Turkey Operations for Farbest Farms, Inc., is chair of the national organization.
He explained that the two turkeys heading to the White House are part of a group hatched in mid-July. The turkeys were raised in very similar conditions to commercial turkeys, but special attention was given to how these turkeys interact with people.
Andrea had to work with this small group of turkeys to prepare them for the upcoming event, Seger explained.
Seger, Andrea and her family, Farbest Farms Growout Director Kent Peter, and veterinarian Dr. Duane Murphy will be in attendance at the ceremony along with Farbest representatives from Purdue University and the Indiana State Poultry Association.
The turkeys’ names will be revealed at a special press conference Thursday at 10 a.m. And then make an appearance at the ceremony held in the Rose Garden of the White House on Friday.
The pardoned turkey and alternate will travel to Purdue University following the ceremony to live out the remainder of their lives, according to Seger. Purdue University’s Department of Animal Sciences in the College of Agriculture will provide a home and care for the National Thanksgiving Turkey and alternate. They will live at Purdue’s Animal Science Research and Education Center, where they will reside in a separate enclosed indoor setting with access to a shaded grassy area.
Being part of the annual event draws attention to Farbest’s position as one of the top producers in the turkey industry. Seger pointed to the more than 200 farm families that grow with Farbest Farms and the 1,300 employees throughout the organization as the foundation for the company’s success.
“While I get the opportunity to represent this Farbest this week, it’s really that group that deserves the recognition,” Seger said.