AP NEWS

Iowa governor highlights turkey industry at turkey pardon

November 26, 2019 GMT
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds shares a moment with granddaughter Ainsley Springer and Benjamin, one of a pair of tom turkeys she pardoned at an annual ceremony at Terrace Hill, the governor's residence in Des Moines, Iowa, on Tuesday Nov. 26, 2019. The annual event highlights the state's turkey production and processing industry. (AP Photo/David Pitt)
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds shares a moment with granddaughter Ainsley Springer and Benjamin, one of a pair of tom turkeys she pardoned at an annual ceremony at Terrace Hill, the governor's residence in Des Moines, Iowa, on Tuesday Nov. 26, 2019. The annual event highlights the state's turkey production and processing industry. (AP Photo/David Pitt)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Kim Reynolds has pardoned two tom turkeys, continuing a longstanding Thanksgiving tradition celebrating Iowa’s turkey industry.

The male birds named Benjamin and Franklin will live at Living History Farms in Urbandale, a 500-acre open air history museum that demonstrates three centuries of Iowa farm life.

Reynolds held the annual event Tuesday at Terrace Hill, the governor’s residence, where she says she’ll spend thanksgiving cooking for her family. Several family members, including grandchildren, petted the turkeys after Reynolds read the proclamation freeing them from becoming a thanksgiving meal.

Iowa ranks seventh in U.S. turkey production, turning out more than 12 million turkeys annually on 130 farms. The state is fifth in turkey processing with plants in Storm Lake and West Liberty.