MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — There will be two fewer turkeys on the shelves this year after Alabama’s 74th annual turkey pardoning.
“So today, by the powers vested in me as the governor of the state of Alabama, I am hereby granting a full pardon to Gobbles and Cranberry,” Gov. Ivey said.
The feathered duo beat out Atticus and Scout, Wishbone and Giblet, and Parsley and Rosemary on a Twitter poll leading up to the event.
“They can avoid the Thanksgiving table and I hope they have a long and happy life with Clyde and Henrietta at the farm,” Ivey said.
Other turkeys, however, will not be so lucky and neither are shoppers this year. Two weeks out from Thanksgiving, prices are up all across the country due to inflation and bird flu outbreaks.
If you buy from an Alabama Turkey farm, you’ll be supporting the state’s poultry industry, which brings in roughly $15 billion each year.
“We have a huge poultry industry. Always want to bring attention to it and highlight it,” Agriculture and Industries Commissioner Rick Pate said.
CEO of the Alabama Poultry and Egg Association Johnny Adams says the industry accounts for about two-thirds of the state’s farming revenue and employs nearly 90,000 workers.
“It’s important to agriculture, it’s important to the economy, it’s important to the farmers in the state,” Adams said.
As for Gobbles and Cranberry, they’ll return to Bates Turkey Farm in Fort Deposit as free birds.
This year’s turkeys were chosen by both social media polls leading up to the event and by some of the students at the event.