Observing Tradition

A prime example of the modern conventional way of raising turkey enjoyed by American families, this turkey is destined as a gift for the President of the United States from the National Turkey Federation (NTF).  As the time-honored symbol of thanks that opens the holiday season, the presentation of the National Thanksgiving Turkey is traced through nearly seven decades and a dozen Presidents.  Presentation of the National Thanksgiving Turkey by NTF began with President Harry Truman, and has continued through each presidential administration with a turkey raised at the direction of that year’s NTF chairman.

Ready to meet the President –Throughout the years, the National Thanksgiving Turkey has come from the West Coast, the Midwest, and the Southern Atlantic states – the location is determined by that year’s National Turkey Federation Chairman. The only time a domesticated turkey does fly, is when the trip from the farm to the Nation’s Capital is too far to drive.

The National Thanksgiving Turkey is raised to become accustomed to visitors and the sounds and lights experienced at the White House presentation. The farmer will also work with the best candidates based on appearance and temperment to be lifted and stand calmly on the linen-covered table when presented to the President. As The Wall Street Journal witnessed, it all takes practice.