Ron Kardel, a Walcott turkey farmer, is raising the turkeys that will be pardoned by President Trump this year.
November 23, 2020
A hallmark of every Thanksgiving dinner, a perfectly prepared turkey remains at the center of each family gathering. But one lucky turkey will not be at the dinner table thanks to the decades-old tradition of a Presidential turkey pardon. This year, President Trump will pardon a turkey raised right here in Iowa. Ron Kardel shares his takeaways from the opportunity to raise 2020's presidential turkey.
NTF Chairman Ron Kardel announced the names of the turkeys and launched the White House’s social media poll to pick which turkey would serve as the National Thanksgiving Turkey. Watch here.
Whatch the White House announcement here.
Presidential Pardoning Facts:
- First presidential turkey proclamation event was in 1947 when President Harry Truman received a live turkey from the National Turkey Federation
- “Pardoning” as a custom began with President George H.W. Bush in 1989
- The turkeys started staying at the Willard Hotel in 2014
- The White House selects the names for the National Thanksgiving Turkey and its alternate
- The National Turkey Federation Chair oversees the raising of the “Presidential Flock”
- Following the White House Presentation, the National Thanksgiving Turkey and its alternate will be transported Iowa State University where they reside under the care of veterinarians and poultry science students
- The turkeys often listen to music to help them get used to crowd noises
- The National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation takes place in the White House Rose Garden
- Ron is the 8th Iowan to present to the President, this is the 73rd year of the presentation