NC Commissioner Steve Troxler: North Carolina Turkeys Heading to Washington D.C.

Two turkeys from North Carolina have made their way up to Washington D.C. to be presented to President Trump and his wife. They are from Wellie Jackson’s farm in Clinton. The Butterball grower was selected by the National Turkey Federation for the honor.  Commissioner Troxler was recently on hand for the turkeys’ send-off and talks about the economic impact of our state’s turkey industry.

  • I was recently at Wellie Jackson’s farm in Clinton for the send-off of two North Carolina turkeys for the annual White House Thanksgiving. The birds won’t receive names until they get to the White House, where they are expected to receive a pardon.
  • It’s a pretty big honor to have your birds selected to go to the White House and I was honored to be there for their send off.
  • Wellie Jackson has been growing turkeys for Butterball for years, but he noted that growing these birds was like nothing he had ever done before, and you can see why. They had their own special house built by Hog Slat that was covered in patriotic-themed vinyl siding.
  • I am proud these turkeys were selected by the National Turkey Federation. These turkeys represent our state’s $609 million turkey industry, which ranks second in the country in terms of production with 32.5 million head. Turkeys are also part of the state’s nearly $5 billion poultry industry.
  • Livestock production represents 67 percent of total cash receipts on the farm, and it is the foundation of our state’s $91.8 billion agriculture and agribusiness industry.
  • North Carolina ranks second in the country in turkey production, so you can bet there will be a lot of North Carolina grown turkeys on Thanksgiving tables across the state.
  • And I know they will be joined by a lot of North Carolina sides because of the diversity of crops grown here.
  • Greens, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, root vegetables, apples, pecans, deviled eggs and more.
  • One of my personal favorite sides is potato salad. I will always remember my mother’s potato salad – nobody can make it quite like she did.
  • And, not to speed up time, but you know Christmas closely follows Thanksgiving. Shoppers should find plenty of North Carolina Christmas trees at neighborhood lots, retail stores and pick-your-own farms.
  • North Carolina farmers are expected to harvest 4 million Christmas trees this year. Around a million of those will be sold in North Carolina.
  • I am told it has been an excellent growing season; trees are green and extra fragrant.
  • One out of every four trees harvested in the United States will be a Fraser fir. Other varieties we grow in North Carolina are Virginia pine, White pine, and Norway Spruce.
  • So, it’s getting ready to be a happy holiday season with so many North Carolina raised items on the table and in your homes.