AMES, IOWA — Millions of turkeys were served up on Thanksgiving dinner tables eight days ago across America, but two Iowa-raised birds were spared from the table by a presidential pardon. On Friday those birds, Corn and Cob, returned to Iowa where they’ll live out their days with assurance they won’t end up in the oven.
President Donald Trump pardoned ‘Corn’ in a pre-Thanksgiving ceremony at the White House. ‘Cob’ was on standby at the event in case Corn wasn’t up to the job. The birds come from the Walcott, Iowa farm of Ron Kardel, Chairman of the National Turkey Federation.
The birds were welcomed on Friday to their new home, a state of the art facility at Iowa State University in Ames. The turkeys will be one of the star attractions of a test turkey farm that will be used by the school’s agriculture departments.
“It’s important to us because our students will be here to see these beautiful birds to think about where they come from, how they utilized sustainable agriculture here across the state,” said Dan Robeston, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University, “And to contemplate the important role that the turkey industry plays here in the state of Iowa.”
The Iowa Turkey Federation says the facility and its celebrity birds will bring attention to a section of Iowa’s ag industry that is often overlooked. “On behalf of Iowa’s 130 turkey farmers in the industry, we’re very excited to welcome Corn and Cob back to Iowa and here at Iowa State University,” said Greta Irwin with the Iowa Turkey Federation, “Iowa raises close to 11 million turkeys every year and contributes close to $10 billion into Iowa’s economy.”