Minnesota Turkeys Pardoned by President Biden
Washington, D.C. – National Turkey Federation (NTF) Chairman Steve Lykken presented the National Thanksgiving Turkey named Liberty to President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. today during the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation at the White House. Liberty and Bell received a formal pardon from the holiday table and will now reside at the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences in St. Paul, Minnesota. This year’s presentation marked the 76th year of this time-honored American tradition dating back to 1947.
“We appreciate President Biden for warmly welcoming the National Turkey Federation, and my esteemed colleagues and associates from the Jennie-O Team to the White House earlier today,” said Lykken. “This is a busy time of year for our industry and we’re grateful for the turkey producers and farmers that deliver food to our tables this holiday and every day.”
The 2023 National Thanksgiving Turkeys were raised in Willmar, Minnesota, under the direction of NTF Chairman Steve Lykken. Lykken is a 31-year veteran in the turkey industry and currently serves as President of Jennie-O Turkey Stores. Lykken was joined in presenting the National Thanksgiving Turkey by Jose Rojas, Assistant Vice President of Live Production at Jennie-O Turkey Store. While in Washington, D.C., Liberty and Bell stayed at the historic Willard InterContinental. Following their visit to the White House, the turkeys will retire to the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences in St. Paul where they will receive housing, daily care, and access to veterinary services under the experienced care of veterinarians, faculty and poultry science students.
NTF’s participation in the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation began in 1947 with President Harry Truman. It has continued for 76 years across 14 successive administrations.
About the National Turkey Federation
The National Turkey Federation (NTF) is the national advocate for America’s turkey farmers and producers, raising awareness for its members’ products while strengthening their ability to profitably and safely deliver wholesome, high-quality and nutritious food to consumers worldwide. NTF is the sole national trade association exclusively representing the turkey industry; its members account for more than 95 percent of all U.S. turkey production.