Beadle County Raised Gobbler Headed to D.C.

For the past 71 years, beginning with President Truman, the National Turkey Federation has presented the Commander in Chief with a turkey the week of Thanksgiving. Traditionally, the bird receives a Presidential pardon.

A South Dakota-raised turkey will be chosen for the honor this year.

Executive Director of the SD Poultry Industries Association David Zeeman says this is the first time a homegrown fowl has been selected.

About 50 young turkeys are candidates. The finalists currently live in a special “presidential suite” at Riverside Colony in Beadle County. The farm supplies birds to Dakota Provisions of Huron. Around 100 people were on hand Wednesday for a special media event at the colony.

Zeeman says only 2 turkeys will make the trip to D.C.

Zeeman says they will choose the turkeys based on certain criteria.

Around 25 South Dakotans will be on hand for the presentation ceremony which will take place at the White House shortly before Thanksgiving.