***Photo courtesy of Governor’s Office***
Gov. Kim Reynolds pardoned two turkeys today at Terrace Hill in Des Moines, continuing a longstanding Thanksgiving tradition celebrating Iowa’s Turkey Industry. Benjamin and Franklin will move from Ponderosa farm to Living History Farms in Urbandale.
“Food doesn’t just appear on our grocery store shelves. By producing 12.1 million turkeys on about 130 farms each year, Iowa turkeys feed families across the country,” said Gov. Reynolds. “This Thanksgiving, let’s give thanks to our family, friends, those in uniform, but also our farmers who have endured a difficult year. I am proud to partake in the annual turkey pardoning to celebrate Iowa’s ag industry and thank our producers.”
Benjamin and Franklin were raised at the Tyson Ponderosa farm. Eric Messenbrink, a farm manager for Tyson turkey operation was chosen to raise and groom Benjamin and Franklin for this special event. The Iowa Turkey Federation’s current and first woman president, Lynn Schable, attended the event along with Secretary Mike Naig, Lt. Governor Adam Gregg and their families.
This year, Iowa ranked seventh in U.S. turkey production and fifth in turkey processing. The state has two turkey processing plants: Tyson Foods in Storm Lake and West Liberty Foods in West Liberty.
Gov. Reynolds has participated in the turkey pardoning every year since she’s been governor.