or the fourth year in a row, the birds pardoned by the U.S. President will travel to spend the rest of their years in Blacksburg at Gobblers Rest.
“Virginia Tech has a long tradition of supporting the turkey industry through research and outreach, so it’s fitting that the presidential turkeys become part of the Hokie Nation,” said Rami Dalloul, a professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
The turkeys’ arrival in Blacksburg follows a migration that starts under the supervision of National Turkey Federation Chairman Kerry Doughty, former president and CEO of Butterball LLC, and Butterball contract grower Wellie Jackson, of North Carolina.
A spokesman for Virginia Tech said that after two birds are chosen based on appearance and temperament, they head to Washington, D.C. There they stay at a hotel near the White House. One is chosen to take part in the Rose Garden ceremony to be pardoned, and the other is an alternate.
The two birds will then join Peas and Carrots, the 2018 turkeys, at Gobblers Rest. The previous pairs, Wishbone and Drumstick, and Tater and Tot, have died of natural causes.