The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens

FFA students escort presidential turkey in Washington

The turkey that may be presented to President Barack Obama on Wednesday had its media debut today on the roof of the W Hotel in Washington.

The turkey was raised by a group of FFA students in Willmar, Minn., home of the Willmar Poultry Company, the largest turkey producer in the largest turkey producing state in the country.

The students raised the turkeys in pens in a barn that was set up like a commercial operation to give the students an experience of “ag in action,” said Jen Baumgartner of the Willmar Turkey Company.

The FFA students — Preston Ashe, Val Brown, Brenna Ahlquist and Brianna Hoover — brought the turkey and its potential alternate to Washington. The students saw the sights in the nation's capital and got to stay at the W, a glamorous hotel around the corner from the White House.

“It’s the best hotel I’ve ever been in,” said Ahlquist.

The National Turkey Federation presented the first presidential turkey to Harry Truman in 1947. By tradition the president names the turkey and then pardons it.

This year’s turkey will be sent to live at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate.

For more details, see Obama Foodorama