The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


Presidential turkeys meet the public

2014_1125_TurkeyChandeliers1 Cole Cooper holds his son, Case, while his father Gary Cooper stands in the background to show off the turkeys that President Barack Obama will pardon on Wednesday. The Coopers raised the turkeys on their farm in Fort Recovery, Ohio. The unveiling took place at the Willard Hotel. (Jerry Hagstrom/The Hagstrom Report)

The National Turkey Federation today unveiled the turkeys that will be pardoned at the White House on Wednesday by President Barack Obama.

The 20-week-old turkeys weighing approximately 49 pounds each were raised under the supervision of National Turkey Federation Chairman Gary Cooper of Cooper Farms in Fort Recovery, Ohio.

Cooper’s brother Jim raised turkeys that were presented to President William Clinton in the 1990s. This is the first time brothers have raised presidential turkeys in two separate years.

The turkeys grew up in a barn on the property of Gary Cooper’s son Cole.

Names for the birds are being chosen through a contest, and will be selected on Wednesday.

The Coopers said that the two turkeys have distinct personalities. One is “the flock clown, perpetually late, and forages for all types of food and even enjoys grasshoppers,” while the other “is an escape artist, always first in line” and “is health-conscious, choosing a balanced mix of corn and soybeans,” the Coopers said.

Both birds love to listen to the music of country music singer Kenny Chesney, they added.

The birds were introduced to reporters at the Willard Hotel, where the birds are spending the night before the White House ceremony.

White House Historical Association — The Thanksgiving Tradition of ‘Pardoning’ a Turkey at the White House