AP NEWS

Gov. Burgum pardons turkey as part of annual tradition

November 25, 2019 GMT
Gov. Doug Burgum ceremoniously commutes the sentence of becoming the main course of a Thanksgiving meal to "Lilly" as part of the annual turkey pardon at the state Capitol in Bismarck, North Dakota on Monday, Nov. 25, 2019. The annual event also benefits charity. The North Dakota Turkey Federation is donating a dozen frozen turkeys each to the Heaven's Helpers Soup Café and the Abused Adult Resource Center. (AP Photo/James MacPherson)
Gov. Doug Burgum ceremoniously commutes the sentence of becoming the main course of a Thanksgiving meal to "Lilly" as part of the annual turkey pardon at the state Capitol in Bismarck, North Dakota on Monday, Nov. 25, 2019. The annual event also benefits charity. The North Dakota Turkey Federation is donating a dozen frozen turkeys each to the Heaven's Helpers Soup Café and the Abused Adult Resource Center. (AP Photo/James MacPherson)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — An 18-week-old turkey got an official Thanksgiving pardon from North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum at the state Capitol.

“Lilly” was brought to the Capitol on Monday by North Dakota Turkey Federation President David Rude. He says the 18-pound turkey was raised on organic feed at his farm near Tolna.

As part of the annual tradition, the governor pardoned the bird from being Thanksgiving dinner.

The annual event also benefits charity. The Turkey Federation is donating a dozen frozen turkeys each to the Heaven’s Helpers Soup Café and the Abused Adult Resource Center, both in Bismarck.

North Dakota isn’t a big turkey producer. Nine farms in the state produce about a million birds each year.