“We, along with that lucky turkey, have an extra blessing for which to give thanks this year,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech. “It is incredible for us to be able to say that we had a role in the diet of the turkey chosen the National Thanksgiving Turkey and pardoned by the leader of the free world. Furthermore, the president and his family will be feasting on two dressed turkeys also raised on our products this Thanksgiving.”
Continuing a tradition initiated in 1947 during the Harry Truman presidency, President Bush will pardon a turkey chosen from Circle Hill Farms in Ellsworth, Iowa, this year. The turkey will be presented to the president by National Turkey Federation President Paul Hill and his family, who represent the fourth generation in a $150 million family-run business producing 700,000 turkeys per year.
The chosen turkey’s journey to the White House actually began in July upon hatching. At nine weeks of age, the Hills narrowed down their selection to 13 finalists from the 4,500 member flock. The family then spent time working with and monitoring the reactions of the finalists in a separate pen to determine which one had the best personality to meet the first family and deal with the press. Once they had narrowed their selection to one special turkey, a second was chosen for a “vice-presidential” role just in case something was to prevent the first turkey from fulfilling his duties.
The two turkeys will spend the night before their big day in a special suite at the Willard Hotel overlooking the White House. Following the Rose Garden ceremony on Wednesday, the birds will be taken by motorcade to Dulles Airport, where they will be belted into first-class seats on a United Airlines flight dubbed Turkey-One for their journey to Disneyland, California. After serving as the Grand Marshalls in Disneyland’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, they will live out their natural retirement in the Magic Kingdom.
The turkeys that did not make it through the Hill family’s selection process have a different destiny that may include being the featured meat in one of Subway’s sandwiches. Paul Hill is chairman of West Liberty Foods, a supplier of sliced meats and a major supplier to Subway. The turkeys have been raised on several Alltech products including Bio-Mos, the original natural solution to intestinal health issues. It promotes good bacteria and builds natural defenses thereby maximizing animal performance and profitability.
Alltech is the proud sponsor of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010£ to be held in Kentucky, USA.