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Ag feathered friends visit White House

Ag feathered friends visit White House

National Turkey Federation Chairman Phil Seger presented Nov. 19 the National Thanksgiving Turkey named “Peanut Butter” to President Joseph R. Biden Jr. during the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation. “Peanut Butter” and his alternate, “Jelly,” received a formal pardon from the president and will now reside on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. The National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation is a time-honored American tradition dating back to 1947.

“It is an honor to participate in this truly unique tradition, and I thank President Biden for welcoming the National Turkey Federation, my family, and Peanut Butter and Jelly to the White House,” Seger said. “Thanksgiving is a special time for those of us in the turkey business, and it’s an opportunity to celebrate America’s turkey farmers and everyone in our industry. Today and every day I applaud their commitment to feeding our families.”

The 2021 National Thanksgiving Turkey and alternate were raised in Dubois County, Indiana, by turkey grower Andrea Welp under Seger’s supervision. Seger serves as vice-president of Live Turkey Operations for Farbest Farms, headquartered in Jasper, Indiana. While in Washington, D.C., Peanut Butter and Jelly stayed at the historic Willard InterContinental Hotel near the White House. Once the turkeys return to Indiana, they’ll be under the experienced care of veterinarians, faculty and students within the Purdue University-Department of Animal Sciences.

Indiana is the fourth-largest turkey-producing state in the nation; it ranks first in duck production and second in egg production. The poultry industry contributes more than $12 billion in total economic activity to Indiana and employs more than 12,000 people.

“Although turkeys are an important American cultural tradition, most people do not know much about turkey production and management, so this is an amazing chance for us to increase awareness and knowledge of turkeys’ behavior, personalities and welfare,” said Marisa Erasmus, Endowed Chair of Poultry Science and adviser to the Purdue Poultry Club.

Educating students will also be a primary focus in the coming months, said Greg Fraley, Endowed Chair of Poultry Science and adviser to the Purdue Poultry Club.

“The turkeys will provide a great resource for students to learn more about the poultry industry and about policies that impact poultry production,” he said.

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The National Turkey Federation is the national advocate for America’s turkey farmers and producers, raising awareness for its members’ products while strengthening their ability to profitably and safely deliver wholesome, excellent-quality and nutritious food to consumers worldwide. Visit for more information.

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