NTF celebrates 75-year tradition of turkey presentation
WASHINGTON — The National Turkey Federation’s Chairman Ronnie Parker presented the National Thanksgiving Turkey named “Chocolate” to President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on Nov. 21 during the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation.
Chocolate and his alternate, “Chip,” received a formal pardon from the holiday table and will now reside at the Talley Turkey Education Unit at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C.
This year’s presentation marked an exciting milestone as NTF celebrated 75 years of this time-honored American tradition dating back to 1947.
“When I started my career in the turkey industry 44 years ago, I never dreamed that I would have the opportunity to present the National Thanksgiving Turkey at the White House,” Parker said. “I want to thank President Biden for welcoming the National Turkey Federation and my family to the White House. Chocolate and Chip had a pretty remarkable day for two turkeys from North Carolina! While this event is a fun tradition that has spanned 75 years, it is also an important reminder of the importance of American turkey producers and agriculture in delivering food to the table. It’s an honor to represent these hardworking men and women. Happy Thanksgiving!”
The 2022 National Thanksgiving Turkey and alternate were raised in Monroe, N.C., by Parker, who is a 44-year veteran of the turkey industry and serves as general manager of Circle S Ranch.
Parker was joined in presenting the National Thanksgiving Turkey by Lexie Starnes, a 4th generation member of the Starnes family involved in the operation of Circle S Ranch. While in Washington, D.C., Chocolate and Chip stayed at the historic Willard InterContinental. Following their visit to the White House, the turkeys will retire to NC State University where they will be under the experienced care of veterinarians, faculty and students within the Prestage Department of Poultry Science.
NTF’s participation in the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation began in 1947 with President Harry Truman. It has continued for 75 years across 14 successive administrations.