Two Turkeys From North Carolina Ranch to Receive Presidential Pardon From Joe Biden

by Taylor Cunningham
Ron Watts/Getty

Two turkeys in North Carolina can breathe easy this Thanksgiving thanks to a presidential pardon from Joe Biden.

On Monday, Biden will carry out an annual tradition by giving two lucky birds special protection from becoming a holiday meal. This year he and the National Turkey Federation made the selections from Circle S Ranch, which sits just outside of Charlotte.

The animals will make a trip to Washington D.C., for an official ceremony. Afterward, the pardoned duo will head back to the Tar Heel state and spend their lives under the care of North Carolina State University.

“NC State is home to some of the world’s top poultry and animal agriculture experts and facilities,” John Dole, an interim dean at NC State, told the New York Post. “We deliver excellence in teaching, research, and extension to meet the industry’s needs and grow our state. The birds couldn’t be in better hands.”

The Turkeys Will Move to North Carolina State University After Joe Bidens Pardoning

This will be the first time the university will have the honor of caring for a pair of pardoned turkeys. However, sending them to an institution of higher learning is part of the tradition. Last year’s birds, dubbed Peanut Butter and Jelly, went to Purdue University in Indiana. And they’re currently enjoying a leisurely life with giant indoor and outdoor accommodations.

We have yet to learn the names of the 2022 turkeys. But NC State has made it clear that they will live just as comfortably as Peanut Butter and Jelly inside a 100-square-foot climate-controlled pen. And the university has one of the highest-ranked agricultural programs in the world. So, we’re certain that the perks won’t stop with ample space.

The birds will also have celebrity duties. Throughout the year, university officials will cart them around in a biosecure mobile coop so they can make appearances at public events.

It is unclear when turkey pardons became a tradition. The annual ceremony is a newer presidential duty, and most people President George H. W. Bush got it off the ground. And there are rumors that Harry S. Truman was the first to hand out poultry clemencies.

However, the White House Historical Association says that the pardons actually began with President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. The turkey given the honor was officially recorded in 1885 by White House reporter Noah Brooks.