Valley Turkeys Get Pardoned by U.S. President

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. -- Two turkeys from the Valley were selected to kick off the holiday season at the White House.

At the West Rockingham Ruritan Ceremony, more than 100 people got a chance to take a closer look at the two turkeys. Those turkeys were hatched and raised in our area and will soon be in the spotlight across the country.

The National Turkey Federation picks the turkeys every year and this year's chairman, who is also the president of Cargill, picked Virginia to send the turkeys. It has been 18 years since the state was chosen for the event.

Cargill selected Craig Miller, a local turkey farmer, to raise this year's turkeys for the pardon event. The two turkeys will be pardoned by President Barack Obama on Wednesday.

Cargill said they wanted a farmer that would represent the turkey capital of the world.
Miller said it was an honor to raise turkeys for the president, but it was also an emotional farewell.

"We've been through a lot with them and also the pressure to raise two turkeys for the president of the United States,” said Miller, “It's a lot more pressure than when I raise 43,000 hens at a time for Cargill so the stakes are a little bit higher."

Miller said they had to train the turkeys to be able to handle the spotlight and be around people.

On Monday, The two turkeys were on their way to Washington, D.C. They will spend two days in a hotel room before heading to the ceremony.

Miller and his family will also be at the event and will meet the president.

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