Presentation of the National Thanksgiving Turkey by the National Turkey Federation 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.
Each year, NTF looks forward to the invitation from the White House to present the National Thanksgiving Turkey to the president of the United States. Carrying forward that history, this year’s turkey comes to the White House in the arms of National Turkey Federation Chairman Jeff Sveen. Jeff is the first person to represent South Dakota at the event as NTF Chairman. He has the honor of presenting this symbol of Thanksgiving and reminder of the blessings of the nation’s bountiful harvest. Recent custom has the president “pardoning” the turkey he receives.