Photo by Marty Gordon
Turkey 1 _ Peas and Carrots, the official Presidential pardoned turkeys, have a new home at Virginia Tech.

Marty Gordon

Contributing writer


Peas and carrots are typical side dishes for Thanksgiving dinner, but this year they are also the names for two turkeys pardoned by US President Donald Trump. The birds will spend their rest of their life at Virginia Tech.

Last Wednesday, they met members of the media, and Friday, they were introduced to the public.

The practice of pardoning turkeys before Thanksgiving dates to President Abraham Lincoln who gave clemency to a turkey in 1863 but didn’t begun official until Ronald Reagan started having “pardoning” ceremony at the White House. Robert Kennedy also proclaimed that another turkey would be saved from Thanksgiving dinner.

The Virginia Tech connection was started three years ago as the pardoned birds have made their way to Blacksburg to Gobblers Rest, a comfortable coup at the university’s Livestock Judging Pavilion.

Rami Dalloui is world-renowned poultry immunologist at Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences. He said the university’s great relationship with the National Turkey Federation has spurred the trip here.

“With the large number of birds produced in Virginia, it has only been natural they come here,” he said.

An estimated 17 million turkeys are produced in the Commonwealth on an annual basis, and those numbers…

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