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Turkeys groomed for presidential pardon

Nov. 14, 2011 at 12:27 PM   |   Comments

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WILLMAR, Minn., Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Four Minnesota high school students are helping a poultry company care for the 30 turkeys in the running to receive a pardon from the president.

The Willmar Poultry Company said the students, members of the Future Farmers of America at Willmar Senior High School, have been spending at least 1 hour every weekday caring for the turkeys, which are finalists for the honor of receiving a Thanksgiving pardon from President Barack Obama, the West Central Tribune, Wilmar, reported Monday.

"It's really been fun watching them tame down," said Preston Asche, a junior at the school. "You don't necessarily see a bird like this fall asleep next to you like they do with us. A lot of times we'll just sit in the pen with them and they'll just fall asleep."

Officials with the poultry company said the students will accompany Rick Huisinga, chairman of the National Turkey Federation and executive vice president of the Willmar Poultry Company, to present two of the turkeys to President Obama in Washington Nov. 23. The remaining turkeys will be processed into meat and donated to Minnesota food banks.

"It's been a privilege being able to raise the birds," student Val Brown said.

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