2 Minn. turkeys to be pardoned by President Obama

9:22 PM, Nov 15, 2013   |    comments
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ROSEAU COUNTY, Minn. - A pair of Roseau County turkeys will be in the national spotlight.

On the day before Thanksgiving, President Barack Obama will pardon the lucky birds.

"In February of this year, I was elected National Turkey Federation chairman, and one of the duties of the chairman is to present the national Thanksgiving turkey to the White House," said John Burkel, a northern Minnesota turkey grower.

Burkel says he's been spending time getting them ready for the media blitz.

"A lot of music in the background,  a lot of extra lighting and some flash bulbs flashing in their face, so they get used to that," Burkel said.

Despite the pardon, the turkeys are bred to gain weight fast and they have weak hearts, so even with the pardon, they're probably only looking at a year, maybe two of living the high life.

"They'll go to Mt. Vernon, George Washington's home and stay at Mt. Vernon through the holidays, typically through New Year's. Then, they to a farm called, Morgan Park in Virginia."

Burkel, his wife and five children will all be making the trip to Washington, D.C. They will present the Turkeys with the help of 15 students from Badger High School.

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