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July 27, 2010
Foster Farms turkeys going to California State Fair, White House

By Niesha Lofing
nlofing@sacbee.com

Foster Farms, the Central Valley poultry company, will provide the turkeys that will be pardoned by President Barack Obama during a White House ceremony commemorating Thanksgiving.

It's the first time Foster Farms has received the distinction, and only the second time since the pardoning tradition began in 1989 that the presidential turkey has come from California, said Ira Brister, live turkey production manager for Foster Farms.

Starting this Friday and continuing through Sunday, you can meet brothers of the two broad-breasted Nicholas Strain toms that will be going to Washington, D.C. The two turkeys that will rub feathers with the president were born July 10 and were too young to make an appearance. They were hand-selected for the ceremony by National Turkey Federation Chairman Yubert Envia, Foster Farms' vice president of turkey.

It may be a missed photo opp for the soon-to-be-famous turkeys, but these toms won't be lacking in celebrity treatment.

After consuming about 110 pounds of feed each over the next few months, the official turkeys will be flown to Washington, D.C. for the pardoning ceremony and then will fly first-class to California, where they'll serve as grand marshals in Disneyland's Thanksgiving Day Parade, a Foster Farms news release states.

Retirement for the turkey is lived out at Big Thunder Ranch, located in Disneyland's Frontierland.

The turkeys will be on display from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Saturday at the Foster Farms booth, located on the main promenade of the state fair, near the main gate.

Call The Bee's Niesha Lofing, (916) 321-1270.

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