MONROE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Thanksgiving is a little more than a week away, and just as he has done for the past 75 years, the president will pardon two turkeys from ending up on your dining room table.
This year’s National Thanksgiving Turkeys will come from Circle S Ranch in Monroe, North Carolina.
According to Circle S General Manager Ronnie Parker, raising turkeys fit for a presidential presentation has been no easy task.
“We’ve been training them and working with them, and the two that have presented themselves the best are the two that will make the trip to the White House,” he said.
Parker is currently serving as the chairman of the National Turkey Federation, which is why he was selected to bring the turkeys to the White House this year.
“It’s a tremendous honor – just the history of the White House and being there,” said Parker. “The great thing for me is my family – my wife, three children, and six grandchildren – will get to go.”
The ranch started its search for the perfect turkeys with a flock of 30 one-day-old birds. They’ve been raising them for the past 18 weeks, choosing which two are best suited for pardoning.
“We have a table in there that we train them to sit on, and the ones that sit on that table and behave the best are the ones that get to make the trip to the White House,” said Parker.
Circle S and their contract growers raise about nine and a half million turkeys each year, which equates to about 320 million pounds of meat.
“We just do our very best to take care of them, and if we take care of them, then they’ll do their very best,” said Parker.
📲 Download the Queen City News app to stay updated on the go.
📧 Sign up for QC News email alerts to have breaking news sent to your inbox.
💻 Find today’s top stories on QCNews.com for Charlotte, NC, and all of the Carolinas.
Parker and his family will travel to Washington, D.C., this weekend for the celebrations. The turkeys will even stay in their own motel room while on their trip.
The presidential pardoning is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 21.
After they are pardoned, Parker says they will live out their days at N.C. State University.