Government

Iowa turkeys 'Corn' and 'Cob' ready for big moment: A pardon from Donald Trump

Corn, left, and Cob, two turkeys from Iowa who will attend the annual presidential pardon, hang out inside their hotel r
Corn, left, and Cob, two turkeys from Iowa who will attend the annual presidential pardon, hang out inside their hotel room at the Willard Hotel, Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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The names of two Iowa birds competing to be this year’s National Thanksgiving Turkey were revealed during a news conference Monday — Corn and Cob.

The two “VITs” — Very Important Turkeys — “made themselves right at home” in their Willard InterContinental hotel room this weekend in Washington, D.C., according to a Facebook post from the National Turkey Federation.

President Donald Trump, in one of the few public events on his schedule since the election, will pardon a turkey Tuesday at the White House.

While only one bird will strut away with the official title, both will live out their days at Iowa State University and be available for public viewing starting at 10 a.m. Dec. 5. A new “state-of-the-art turkey production facility” will be built at ISU next spring, according to a news release.

Corn and Cob, both hatched July 2, were raised by Ron and Susie Kardel of Walcott. Ron, who serves as chairman of the National Turkey Federation, will be the eighth Iowan to present a turkey to a president.

“I think this event is great today because lord knows 2020’s been a real challenge,” Kardel said Monday as he presented the turkeys at the Willard InterContinental. “I think it’s great to celebrate something that’s happy, something that’s for everybody, something that’s for all of America.”

Iowa ranks seventh in U.S. turkey production, with about 12 million raised annually, according to the federation.

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The title-holding turkey will be decided by popular vote on Twitter. The poll will close this morning.

Corn is a chatty bird who enjoys eating sweet corn, watching college football and storm chasing, according to the White House. Cob, who has a “Type A” personality, likes playing pickleball and doing puzzles.

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